Joby Aviation, a California-headquartered transportation company developing an eVTOL aircraft that it intends to operate as a commercial passenger aircraft in 2024, has begun generating revenue as part of achieving another major milestone in the Agility Prime programme. The company also announced that it has agreed to a 'G1' certification basis for its aircraft with the FAA. This agreement lays out the specific requirements that need to be met by Joby's aircraft for it to be certified for commercial operations.
Agility Prime is a programme that seeks to accelerate the development of a commercial market for advanced air mobility and encourage American innovation. Joby's participation in the programme will provide the US government with valuable data and insight into the operation and performance of eVTOL aircraft. It also provides Joby with access to key research facilities and equipment, as well as an opportunity to prove out the maturity and reliability of its aircraft years in advance of entering commercial service.
“The Agility Prime and Joby partnership is now on an accelerated path to identify the opportunities for early adoption of these aircraft for logistics that provide flexibility to operators and savings to taxpayers. We are also one step closer to the commercialisation of a clean, quiet, modern, transportation system,” says Nathan P. Diller, AFWERX Agility Prime director.
The news of Joby generating revenue from the programme comes on the heels of the company being awarded the US Air Force's first-ever airworthiness approval for an eVTOL vehicle at the end of 2020.
Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt says: “The Agility Prime programme represents an invaluable opportunity to understand and accelerate the positive impact of clean, electric aircraft in the US and beyond. With ten years of engineering and more than a 1,000 test flights behind us, we're excited to now be playing a key role in demonstrating the potential of this new sector while giving the US government a front row seat.”
Joby also confirmed that it agreed to a 'G1' certification basis for its aircraft with the FAA in 2020. A G1 outlines the criteria that need to be met in order for an aircraft to be certified for civil commercial operations, and reaching the milestone marks a key step on the way towards certifying any new aircraft in the US.
Joby's aircraft will be certified in line with the FAA's existing Part 23 requirements for normal category airplanes, with special conditions introduced to address requirements specific to Joby's unique aircraft. These special conditions, defined in the G1 document, are expected to be published in the US Federal Register in the coming months.
Bevirt continues: “While we still have several years of aircraft testing ahead of us, we now have a clearly defined and achievable path to certifying our aircraft and introducing customer flights. Reaching this milestone is a watershed moment for our new industry, and I'm tremendously grateful for the many years of hard work the FAA and our in-house aviation safety experts have put into getting us to this point.”
In related news, Garmin has entered into a long-term agreement to provide the G3000 integrated flight deck to Joby Aviation for its eVTOL aircraft, which is expected to commence commercial operations in 2024.