Joby completes pre-production eVTOL testing, segues into production prototype flight certification

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Urban Air Mobility specialist Joby Aviation is touting its latest milestone in eVTOL development today, relaying that it has completed testing of its pre-production aircraft and will now move into getting air certified using its production-intent eVTOL prototypes.

Joby Aviation ($JOBY) currently operates as one of the more prominent and promising electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi developers in its growing segment of advanced air mobility (AAM).

We saw the company achieve its first flight with a pilot onboard in October 2023 before segueing to a live demonstration in New York City – all en route to plans for full-fledged air taxi operations expected to begin in 2025.

Following millions in initial funding and a grant in California, Joby began setting up US eVTOL production. We’ve since seen Joby continue testing with pre-production eVTOL models, which it has now completed and will move on to the next development phase.

new york air taxi
Credit: Joby Aviation

Joby to continue eVTOL testing with production prototypes

Per a release from Joby Aviation earlier today, it has officially capped off four years of eVTOL testing using two pre-production prototype aircraft, completing over 1,500 combined flights culminating in over 33,000 miles of travel through the air.

Of those completed flights, over 100 were operated with a human pilot onboard, a critical step in future flight certification and commercial air taxi operations someday. Joby Aviation’s founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, spoke about the company’s latest milestone and what it means for the future of its technology and the AAM industry as a whole:

Over the course of this test program, our team has shown the world how real electric air taxis  are, with tens of thousands of miles flown using today’s battery technology. Our pre-production aircraft were the second full-scale generation of Joby’s design, and their performance met or exceeded our predictions throughout the program, successfully achieving our targets for maximum range, speed, and a revolutionary acoustic footprint.

Successfully completing this rigorous test program has allowed us to proceed to ramp production with full confidence, the second of which rolled off the line at our production line in Marina, California, earlier this week.  Learnings from the flight test program have been invaluable to our certification program and to the broader development of regulatory frameworks around electric VTOL aircraft, validating the performance, safety, and acoustics of our design while providing insight into daily operations and maintenance

With pre-production prototype eVTOL testing now complete, Joby says it will focus on flights using its production prototypes as it prepares to begin for-credit flight testing en route to full-fledged commercial airworthiness certification.

When commercial operations (hopefully) begin in the coming years, Joby’s eVTOL air taxis will be able to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph and travel over 150 miles on a single charge—all with significantly lower noise pollution than helicopters and zero emissions.

Those air taxi operations could very well begin in the United Arab Emirates, as Joby signed a six-year exclusive deal for air taxi operations throughout Dubai this past February.

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