Joby Aviation is another step closer to delivering commercial passenger flights in 2024, after announcing it has generated revenue as part of achieving another major milestone in the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime programme.
The California-based company has also said it agreed to a ‘G1’ certification basis for its eVTOL aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2020. A ‘G1’ outlines the criteria that need to be met in order for an aircraft to be certified for civil commercial operations, and the news marks a key step on the way towards certifying any new aircraft in the USA.
Joby’s aircraft will be certified in line with the FAA’s existing Part 23 requirements for Normal Category Airplanes, with special conditions introduced to address specific requirements. These special conditions, defined in the ‘G1’ document, are expected to be published in the US Federal Register in the coming months.
JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation – and who is also recognised in the first eVTOL Insights Power Book, said: “While we still have several years of aircraft testing ahead of us, we now have a clearly defined, and achievable, path to certifying our aircraft and introducing customer flights.
“Reaching this milestone is a watershed moment for our new industry and I’m tremendously grateful for the many years of hard work the FAA and our in-house aviation safety experts have put into getting us to this point.”
Joby’s participation in the Agility Prime programme will also provide the US Government with valuable data and insight into the operation and performance of eVTOL aircraft.
It also provides Joby with access to key research facilities and equipment, as well as an opportunity to prove out the maturity and reliability of its aircraft years in advance of entering commercial service.
The news of Joby generating revenue from the programme comes on the heels of the company being awarded the Air Force’s first-ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL vehicle at the end of 2020. Joby’s zero emissions aircraft, which can transport four passengers and a pilot, can fly up to 150 miles on a single charge and can cruise at 200 mph.
Bevirt added: “The Agility Prime programme represents an invaluable opportunity to understand and accelerate the positive impact of clean, electric aircraft in the US and beyond.
“With ten years of engineering and more than a 1000 test flights behind us, we’re excited to now be playing a key role in demonstrating the potential of this new sector while giving the US Government a front row seat.”
Nathan P. Diller, AFWERX Agility Prime Director, said: “The Agility Prime and Joby partnership is now on an accelerated path to identify the opportunities for early adoption of these aircraft for logistics that provide flexibility to operators and savings to taxpayers. We are also one step closer to the commercialisation of a clean, quiet, modern, transportation system.”