Video: Joby authorized to test first air taxi prototype

30 June 2023

Air taxi vendor Joby Aviation Inc. has received a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) special airworthiness certificate allowing it to begin flight testing its first production electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype.

Joby claims it will be the first eVTOL aircraft vendor to be delivered to a customer when it moves to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 to be operated by Joby for use by the U.S. Air Force. Prior to delivery to the aircraft base, the prototype aircraft will undergo initial flight testing. Once at the air base, it will be used to demonstrate the potential logistics use cases.

Toyota, which has invested about $400 million in Joby, recently signed a long-term agreement to supply the powertrain and actuation components for the air taxi startup. Just this week, South Korean communications giant SK Telecom also invested $100 million in the air taxi startup. Under the deal, Joby will participate in SK’s K-UAM Grand Challenge, a demonstration program led by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and designed to accelerate the adoption and aerial ridesharing infrastructure in Korea.

Joby said it will begin commercial passenger operations beginning in 2025 and recently has partnered with Delta Air for travel to and from airports. Joby will also be one of several air taxi vendors that will be used at the 2025 World Expo held in Osaka, Japan. Additionally, the company will be one of the eVTOL companies that will participate in the 2024 Olympic Games where air taxis will be used as alternate transportation.

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