June 28, 2023
NBAA was part of a special moment June 28, when Joby Aviation received an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate for the first aircraft built at its Pilot Production Line in Marina, CA, allowing flight testing to begin.
To celebrate the milestone, the company held an event at its California facility, including a demonstration flight of the experimental version of its aircraft.
“Today’s achievement is the culmination of years of investment in our processes and technology, and it marks a major step on our journey to scaled production,” said Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt.
The aircraft is expected to become the first-ever electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to be delivered to a customer when it moves to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 to be operated by Joby as part of the company’s Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force, worth up to $131 million.
“We use technology to advance safety,” said Didier Papadopoulos, Joby’s head of aircraft OEM. “We are going to push our limits to make aviation safer than ever.”
Joby has been flying full size aircraft since 2017, and its pre-production prototype aircraft have flown more than 30,000 miles since 2019. Today’s production prototype marks a step toward achieving FAA certification and production at scale, the company said.
NBAA Western Regional Director Phil Derner was on hand for the event marking Joby’s certification milestone. Joby is a member of NBAA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Roundtable, which serves as a forum for high-level policy planning with sector leaders, to chart a course for the integration of AAM technologies into the nation’s airspace and infrastructure.
“Today’s first production rollout is another step in the next era of aviation and on-demand air mobility,” said Derner. “It was an honor to be present for this monumental event, highlighting ingenuity, innovation and tireless dedication to moving forward with this game-changing new mode of transportation.”
Joby’s production prototype aircraft has been manufactured in accordance with a released design and built according to a complete implementation of a quality management system, the company said. Joby plans to begin commercial passenger operations in 2025, and recently partnered with Delta Air Lines to deliver transport for Delta customers traveling to and from airports.