Joby Aviation, an industry leader in upcoming eVTOL ride-sharing, has announced that it has officially received a Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA to fly the first aircraft ever built on its production line in Marina, CA.

Joby Aviation’s first production aircraft (left), with room for one pilot plus four passengers

On June 28th, 2023, Joby Aviation announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Special Airworthiness Certification to fly the Joby’s first aircraft ever created by the company’s mass production line. Joby originally received airworthiness approval for a pre-production prototype in December 2020, shortly after coming out of a stealth mode period for several years.

The new Special Airworthiness Certification issued by the FAA will now allow Joby to begin flight-testing this production version of the aircraft, which will match in assembly the version that will be used by fare-paying passengers.

Via this Certification, which is the first ever given by the FAA for a production eVTOL, Joby expects to become the first eVTOL maker to deliver an aircraft to a customer. The first customer for the Joby aircraft, which will receive the first production aircraft off the line (featured above), will be Agility Prime. Agility Prime is a technology incubator branch of the U.S Air Force, and helped Joby through its various flight testing phases. The first production aircraft will be delivered in Agility Prime in 2024. The aircraft will be operated  as part of the Company’s Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force, worth up to $131 million.

One of Joby Aviation’s prototype aircraft in forward flight

This announcement also comes as Joby Aviation continues to move down the certification pipeline with the FAA to bring its eVTOL aircraft to commercialization. In February 2023, Joby Announced it had completed the second stage of this process, where it proved it could meet the safety standards set in the first stage.

In December of 2020, when the company first released footage of its prototype in flight, Joby also acquired Uber Elevate, Uber’s initiative to launch aerial ridesharing under their brand. At the same time, Joby also announced a funding round of over $590 million, with a large contribution from Toyota. Since then, the company has raised its value to over $1B, and launched on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: JOBY) in August of 2021.

Said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, “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. We’re proud to have launched production in our home state of California. I’m incredibly grateful to the Joby team for their commitment to ensuring Joby remains the clear leader in this new sector and to Toyota for sharing their knowledge and experience with us over many years. Their support has been indispensable in helping us reach this point.”

Why it’s important: With this announcement, Joby Aviation’s aircraft has become the first ever production version eVTOL to receive airworthiness certification from the FAA. This marks a major milestone for the company, as this certification is an essential part of the journey to allowing the aircraft to carry fare-paying passengers.

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Posted by Benji