Joby Aviation completes pre-production flight tests

California-based eVTOL start-up Joby Aviation has successfully completed its pre-production flight test program and is now launching the next phase of flight testing.

Image: Joby Aviation

The next test phase is to be the last for the pre-production processes, as the startup will use its production prototype aircraft to prepare for upcoming for-credit flight testing.

Joby’s two test aircraft travelled a cumulative 33,000 miles over 1,500 test flights. Of the test flights, over 100 were piloted by an actual person. The process of ramping up its technical expertise has been ongoing for multiple years, as Joby Aviation writes. In 2021, a test flight managed a distance of 154.6 statute miles on a single charge. By 2022, Joby had managed to get NASA onboard, and it managed to prove speeds over 200 miles per hour and flights at altitude over 10,000 feet above sea level. By 2023, pilots were sitting in the aircraft and the first exhibition flight in New York City was completed.

“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,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby. “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.”

While a timeframe has not been revealed for the next steps, James Denham, chief test pilot for Joby, sounds confident: “Over the past four years, we thoroughly tested and studied our aircraft in flight, from precision landing and outwash to human factors. We often flew multiple flights per day, demonstrating our ability to fly in a wide variety of weather and operational conditions.”


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