Joby Aviation has commenced piloted test flights of its pre-production electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

This achievement marks a major milestone in the company’s mission to launch commercial eVTOL passenger services.

To date, the majority of Joby’s flight testing has been piloted remotely from a ground control station (GCS)
Until now, the majority of Joby’s flight testing has been piloted remotely from a ground control station (GCS)

Four of Joby’s pilots have now flown the pre-production prototype aircraft. The initial tests incorporated a series of manoeuvres including free thrustborne hovers and forward transitions to semi-thrustborne flight.

The testing took place at Joby’s Pilot Production Facility in Marina, California with the aim of gathering data on the aircraft’s handling qualities and pilot control interfaces to support its development.

The tests will also lay the groundwork for future “for credit” testing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A video demonstrating the piloted test flights is available on Joby’s YouTube channel.

Chief Test Pilot, James Denham said:

Having helped design and test flight controls for a wide variety of aircraft, including all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, nothing compares to the simplicity and grace of the Joby aircraft. After completing more than 400 vertical take-offs and landings from the ground, it is a privilege to sit in the cockpit of our aircraft and experience first-hand the ease and intuitive nature of the design that the Joby team has developed.

Joby also recently announced that it will establish its first scaled eVTOL aircraft manufacturing facility in Dayton, Ohio to deliver up to 500 of its eVTOL aircraft each year.


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