Air taxi startup Joby Aviation Inc. successfully performed an exhibition flight in New York City, marking the first time the company has flown an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in an urban setting.
The flight was made during the same event where air taxi competitor Volocopter demonstrated its own test flight in NYC. It was billed as the first-time multiple aircraft were flown in one location in an urban environment.
The aircraft was flown at the downtown heliport in Manhattan like the Volocopter aircraft. It was part of New York City’s plan to lay the groundwork for the adoption of electric aircraft to transform transportation between cities and inter-city travel for commutes.
Joby said its air taxi will fly again at an upcoming event held at a different heliport in Kearny, New Jersey.
Joby is one of numerous aircraft startups that have signed deals with major airlines to provide air taxis for inter-city and commute travel. Joby has an agreement with Delta Air Lines where New York City is expected to be one of the early launch markets for the aircraft.
Joby said the air taxis will be able to offer back-to-back flights and can fly up to 100 miles on a single charge. This would cover about 99% of all trips taken across NYC’s five boroughs. A trip by air taxi from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) could take about 7 minutes. By car the same trip would take more than an hour.
Delta and Joby are working with the Port Authority of New York and New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) for initial operations like infrastructure development and upgrading hubs to fit air taxi procedures.