Joby Aviation, which is developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, is getting approval to deploy a commercial service. On May 26, 2022, the startup announced that it had received this approval (Part 135) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But this certification is only one of three required approvals that must be obtained from the FAA. It is also necessary to obtain a Type Certificate and a Production Certificate.
First service in 2024?
“The five-step process included submitting over 850 pages of manuals for approval and the required initial testing of Joby to demonstrate knowledge of procedures and FAA-supervised training,” the startup writes. Joby Aviation even crashed while testing an experimental aircraft. The prototype flying taxi was controlled remotely, no one was injured in the accident.
“Over the next few months, we will use our Part 135 certification to drive operations and enhance the customer technology platforms that will underpin our multimodal transportation services, as well as improve our procedures to ensure a seamless journey for our customers,” says Bonnie Simi, Head of Air Operations and Human Resources at Joby. Joby Aviation is working on a five-seat eVTOL with a range of 241 km and a top speed of 321 km/h. Before offering a flying taxi service that the startup hopes to roll out in 2024, Joby plans to use conventional aircraft to fine-tune its systems and procedures.
To help him with his developments, Joby recently acquired Avionys, a company specializing in software development and validation solutions for the aviation industry. An acquisition made to strengthen her teams and her skills in connection with her certification applications. Software validation is an important part of certification programs that require engineers to validate, review, and test aircraft software in accordance with FAA rules and standards.
Joby, who bought Uber Elevate, the air mobility division of VTC, seduced Toyota. The startup also partnered with SK Telekom to deploy its flying taxis in South Korea and with Ana airline to test its product in Japan. But Joby seems to want to roll out its first service in the United States. This is far from the only startup that wants to use flying taxis. Volocoper, EHang or Lilium develop their own devices.