Historically, Joby Aviation had been quietly ramping up production and initial flight tests of its air taxi eVTOL prototype, until today. The company released this week a pair of videos showcasing their prototype during a flight test. Notably, the video highlights the prototype’s ability to take off, transition to horizontal flight, and return for landing.
The videos follows the recent headlines made by Joby detailing a SPAC merger with Reinvent Technology Partners, valuing Joby at just over $5.7B USD. The merger also paves the path to listing Joby on the New York Stock Exchange.
The prototype, nearly 10 years in the making, is capable of transporting 5 individuals at speeds up to 200 mph a distance of 150 miles using existing battery technology. The eVTOL aircraft uses six large tilting rotors to achieve vertical lift and horizontal winged cruise as demonstrated in the videos.
Perhaps most incredible is the aircraft’s noise footprint, where during liftoff in the video, Joby CEO and Founder JoeBen Bevirt continue on with a normal speaking volume. In the video, Bevirt states the merger with Reinvent Technology Partners will open a path for Joby to becoming a publicly traded company and will give it the resources needed to focus on certification efforts and commercial entry to service by 2024.
“With the Reinvent team at our side, we are one step closer to making this fantastic future real. We can’t wait to welcome you onboard,” stated Bevirt.
Why it matters: The aerial mobility space has seen a recent gold rush of investors, SPAC mergers, and investments by existing automotive and aerospace stakeholders. Joby Aviation is clearly leading among its competitors for its progress in its flight test campaign, fundraising, and certification efforts. The videos are the first of its kind from the company and demonstrate just how quiet the aerial mobility future will be. With plenty of capital and a robust talent base, expect Joby to be entering urban skies in the near term.