Joby Aviation has announced the approval of its first Systems Review and its first Compliance Review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The first step towards these reviews started last July and were completed late last year, with recent approval granted by the FAA in its development approach, preliminary production design, and defined path toward certification.

The company is developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service. The review assessed Joby’s process to develop complex, safety-critical, aerospace-grade systems and equipment, including flight controls, propulsion controls and battery management among others. It evaluated Joby’s approach to the development and verification of aerospace-grade software and airborne electronic hardware.

“The safety of modern aircraft owe much to rigorous, well-defined and repeatable development and verification processes,” said Tom Ferrell, Development Assurance Lead at Joby. 

“Successfully completing our first System Review and Compliance Review demonstrates that Joby’s engineering practices are maturing to a level where they can be applied for the most demanding safety-critical development, while producing all the required certification data to prove our design to one of the world’s toughest and most respected regulators.”

The second round of reviews focus on the outputs of Joby’s development process, including validation of certification requirements, design capture, and implementation in hardware and software. 

Earlier this month, Joby announced it had completed its first series of FAA conformity tests to confirm the material strength of the composite material comprising the aerostructure of the aircraft. 

In February, the company partnered with ANA Holdings, Japan’s largest airline, to bring its aerial ride-sharing services to the country and collaborate on developing infrastructure, pilot training, flight operations, air traffic management, public acceptance, and the regulatory requirements.  Toyota also joined the partnership to explore opportunities such as ground-based transportation.

Earlier in the month, Joby said it would work with SK Telecom to introduce emissions-free aerial ride-sharing services to cities and communities in South Korea. The agreement was signed by SKT’s CEO Ryu Young-sang and Joby’s founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. The two companies will provide services in support of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport’s ‘K-UAM’ (Korean Urban Air Mobility) Roadmap first announced in 2020.

In 2020 Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received an initial (stage 2) signed G-1 from the FAA in 2019.

Joby’s piloted five-seat electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft can carry four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h).

The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. With over 10 years of development and more than a thousand flight tests completed, Joby is targeting the launch of its aerial ride-sharing service in 2024.