Joby Aviation, an upcoming leader in the world of electric aerial mobility, has successfully completed a 150-mile continuous flight on a single charge.

The flight was completed at Joby’s Electric Flight Base in Big Sur, CA earlier this month as part of the company’s ongoing flight test campaign. The aircraft, piloted from the ground by Joby’s Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, took off vertically before transitioning to forward flight.

The 154-mile flight, which took place over 11 laps of a predefined circuit, took 1 hour and 17 minutes to complete, setting a record for the world’s longest eVTOL test flight. Even more notably, the flight was performed with the company’s full-sized prototype, meaning that the aircraft that completed this flight will eventually be the same aircraft utilized by fare-paying passengers.

Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt commented, “We’ve achieved something that many thought impossible with today’s battery technology. By doing so we’ve taken the first step towards making convenient, emissions-free air travel between places like San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Houston and Austin, or Los Angeles and San Diego an everyday reality.”

Additionally, as Joby gears up its aircraft, it is also preparing for its full entry into commercial service as an official air transport provider. The company has recently begun the Part FAA Part 135 air carrier certification process, entering the first stage by submitting airline operating manuals. Once that documentation is approved, the FAA will visit Joby locations to observe training sessions and witness flight operations before issuing its final approval.

Achieving the Part 135 certification, which Joby expects to do by 2022, will legally allow Joby to operate its new aircraft as air taxi in communities and cities throughout the United States. Alongside a Type Certificate and Production Certificate, this is one of three regulatory approvals critical to the planned launch of Joby’s all-electric aerial ridesharing service in 2024.

Why it’s important: As 2021 progresses, top companies like Joby are taking greater and greater strides towards commercial certification and passenger operations launch. Many companies, including Joby, predict that their aircraft will enter commercial service by 2024, and, according to Joby, they are on track to meet that deadline. Other companies to watch for taking these steps include Vertical Aerospace, Beta Technologies, Wisk, Volocopter, Lilium, and EHang.

Source // Joby Aviation

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