Joby, a company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, has received a Special Airworthiness Certificate for the first aircraft built at its Pilot Production Line in Marina, California. Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the certificate allows Joby to begin flight testing of its first production prototype.
The aircraft is expected to become the first ever eVTOL aircraft to be delivered to a customer when it moves to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 to be operated by Joby as part of the company’s Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force, worth up to US$131 million.
Joby has been flying full size aircraft since 2017 and its pre-production prototype aircraft have flown more than 30,000 miles since 2019. Today’s production prototype builds on that experience and marks another important step toward achieving FAA certification and production at scale.
Commenting on Joby’s progress, JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said: “Today’s achievement is the culmination of years of investment in our processes and technology and it marks a major step on our journey to scaled production. We’re proud to have launched production in our home state of California. I’m incredibly grateful to the Joby team for their commitment to ensuring Joby remains the clear leader in this new sector and to Toyota for sharing their knowledge and experience with us over many years. Their support has been indispensable in helping us reach this point.”
Toyota is Joby’s largest external shareholder, having invested around US$400 million in the company, and the two companies recently signed a long-term agreement for the supply of powertrain and actuation components.