Joby has received a special certificate of airworthiness for the first aircraft built on its pilot production line in Marina, California, allowing flight testing to begin. The aircraft is expected to become the first ADAVe ever delivered to a customer, the production line and aircraft were built in close collaboration with strategic partner and investor Toyota.
Special airworthiness certificate for Joby Aviation
Joby Aviation announced on June 28, 2023 that it had received a special certificate of airworthiness for the first ADAVe (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft) aircraft built on its pilot production line in Marina, California. Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (the FAA), this certificate allows Joby to begin flight testing of its first production prototype. The aircraft is expected to become the first-ever ADAVe delivered to a customer when it is transferred to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 to be operated by Joby under the company’s Agility Prime contract with the Air Force. US, worth up to $131 million.
Joby has been flying aircraft since 2017 and its pre-production prototypes have flown more than 30,000 miles (more than 48,000 km) since 2019, according to the manufacturer. Today’s production prototype builds on that experience and marks another important step toward FAA certification and full-scale production.
Toyota as main external shareholder
Recognizing Toyota’s key role in the design of the pilot Joby production line, as well as the production and assembly of the Joby aircraft, Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, President and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. will join Joby’s board of directors on July 1, 2023. Toyota is Joby’s largest outside shareholder, having invested approximately $400 million in the company, and the two companies recently signed a long-term agreement to supply of powertrain and actuation components.
Flight tests at Edwards before Delta Air Lines
Joby’s prototype aircraft was manufactured to a validated design and built under a full quality management system implementation – a significant milestone on the road to achieving Federal Aviation Administration type required to begin commercial passenger operations. Joby plans to begin commercial passenger operations in 2025 and recently partnered with Delta Air Lines to enable Delta customers to travel without greenhouse gas emissions to and from airports. The aircraft will now undergo initial flight testing before being delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, California, where it will be used to demonstrate a range of potential logistics applications.