Thursday, July 18, 2024

Joby to operate electric air taxi flights at Expo 2025 in Japan

California-based flying-taxi startup Joby Aviation and Japan’s largest airline ANA Holdings (ANAHD), have been selected by the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition to operate demonstration flights during the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.

The two companies will work together to develop plans for flight connections between the Expo venue and at least one other location in Osaka.

ANA Aviation and Joby first announced they were partnering in February 2022. They have been working together for over a year on establishing air taxi operations in Japan, collaborating on all aspects of this revolutionary form of transportation, including infrastructure development, pilot training, flight operations, public acceptance, and the regulatory requirements to operate.

The World Expo is the largest and most complex event of its kind. Several eVTOL makers are planning to officially launch commercial services in 2025. Around 28 million guests are expected to visit the Expo between April and October 2025, and the Smart Mobility section is due to be one of the most popular.

Joby plans to begin delivering commercial passenger services in 2025. Its piloted, five-seat air taxi has a maximum speed of 320 km/h (200 mph) and is designed to fly up to 240 km (150 miles). The company has completed more than 1,000 test flights since its establishment in 2009 and is also partnered with Toyota Motor Corporation.

Additionally, it is gearing up for advanced tests in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex (NFAC) wind tunnel at NASA‘s Ames Research Center. This is the world’s largest wind tunnel facility, and Joby is believed to be the first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company to test its electric propeller at this prestigious facility.

“This is a truly unique opportunity to introduce our aircraft to the world, and we’re proud to be working alongside ANAHD to demonstrate what this technology can deliver,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “The World Expo has long been the home of radical transportation innovation, and we’re pleased to be playing a leading role in continuing that trend.”