Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Joby Aviation’s prototype air taxi crashes during high-speed testing

On February 16, 2022, one of Joby Aviation’s remotely piloted, experimental prototype aircraft was involved in an accident during flight testing at a remote flight test base in California while intentionally pushing the limits. In the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Form 8-K filing, the company specified that the experimental aircraft was flying in an uninhabited area, and there were no injuries.

“Experimental flight test programs are intentionally designed to determine the limits of aircraft performance, and accidents are unfortunately a possibility,” reads the regulatory filings. “We will be supporting the relevant authorities in investigating the accident thoroughly.”

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of the aircraft. Joby says it will support the relevant authorities in investigating the accident thoroughly.

According to Joby-Aviation-Fan’s Twitter post, the remotely-piloted aircraft was being pushed over 270 mph (435 km/h), although the specs for the aircraft show that its top speed is 200 mph (322 km/h). And as expected, the incident caused a drop in Joby’s shares.

Joby Aviation is one of the several startups developing eVTOL air taxis. It is seeking regulatory authorization to fly with an onboard pilot its five-seat air taxi, which has a maximum range of 150 miles (241 km) and a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). The startup expects to receive authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and fly its aircraft commercially by 2024.

In January, the company unveiled its second prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi that’s already approved to join the company’s flight test program.

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