Joby Aviation, the developers of eVTOL aircraft for commercial passenger services, has received the FAA Special Airworthiness Certification and US Air Force Airworthiness Approval for a second pre-production prototype aircraft.
The first pre-production prototype generated 65TB of test data in 2021 and flew more than 5,300 miles, including what is believed to be the longest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date, at 154.6 miles on a single charge.
Joby said the second aircraft will “significantly accelerate” its flight-testing capability in 2022, supporting the company’s ambitions to certify its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in time to launch commercial operations in 2024. .
The aircraft is expected to start flying later this month and will enter service as part of Joby’s Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force, an initiative to accelerate development of prototype eVTOL aircraft through funding for early flight testing and experiments.
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In a statement, JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said: “Our 2021 flight test program provided a wealth of information and experience to support our program. With two planes flying at the same time, we can increase the speed of our classes as planned while continuing to meet the requirements of our Agility Prime contract.
“We are grateful to the United States Air Force for our continued relationship and support and the FAA for continuing to drive innovation in the aerospace industry.”
With a maximum range of 250 miles and a top speed of 200 mph, Joby’s all-electric aircraft is designed to carry four passengers, plus pilot, with no operational emissions. Joby started flying full-size prototypes in 2017 and has completed more than 1,000 test flights to date. The California-based company aims to launch passenger services by 2024.
In 2020, Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (Phase 4) certification base with the FAA, having received an initial (Phase 2) signed G-1 from the FAA in 2019. said it continues to make progress with the FAA in defining the compliance means that will apply to its aircraft as it progresses with certification.