Monday, June 17, 2024

Joby Aviation resumes test flights of eVTOL aircraft

A California-based eVTOL company, Joby Aviation, announced that its second pre-production prototype aircraft has resumed flight testing at the company’s pilot production facility in Marina, CA. The company is back in the air after crashing one of its prototype air taxis during high-speed testing in February.

The prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi first flew in January, having received approval to fly from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force. To date, the aircraft has made 38 flights, reaching speeds of more than 90 mph (145 km/h), in support of the company’s aircraft type certification program.

Earlier this week, Joby’s internal safety review board lifted the company’s pause on flight testing, which it voluntarily introduced following an accident involving its first pre-production prototype earlier this year. Joby continues to work closely with the FAA and National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) to investigate the accident and provides regular briefings on its flight test plans.

“We’re excited to be back in the air with our second pre-production prototype aircraft, building on the tremendous flight test achievements our team has made to date,” said Didier Papadopoulos, Head of Programs and Systems at Joby. “Last year alone, we flew more than 5,300 miles, generating 65 terabytes of flight test data and demonstrating an endurance of 154.6 miles on a single charge.”

The company is developing an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient air taxi service beginning in 2024. The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 150 miles on a single charge, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. It is designed to help reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit.