California-based all-electric aircraft developer Joby Aviation has acquired aerospace software engineering company Avionyx to support its aircraft type certification programme with the FAA.
Based in San Jose, Costa Rica, Avionyx has been a provider of software development and verification solutions to the aerospace community for more than 30 years. The acquisition allows Joby to scale resources rapidly to support its certification activities through the integration of an experienced team with a proven track record.
Software verification is a critical element of commercial aerospace certification programmes, requiring engineers to review, analyse and test the software deployed across the aircraft according to FAA regulations and standards. Avionyx has extensive experience performing software verification services to both FAA and EASA standards.
Joby first awarded Avionyx a contract in 2021 to assist with software testing and verification activities for the company's eVTOL aircraft, which has numerous systems onboard that require extensive review, analysis and testing pursuant to FAA regulations for flight software.
“Acquiring Avionyx puts us in excellent position to meet the regulatory requirements necessary for us to bring the Joby aircraft to market,” says development assurance lead Tom Ferrell. “Having worked alongside Avionyx for the last year, I'm continuously impressed by the wealth of experience it brings to our software verification activities.”
This transaction demonstrates Joby's continuing progress on software verification activities, following the recent completion of its first compliance review with FAA representatives at the end of last year. These reviews evaluated Joby's approach to the development and verification of aerospace-grade software and airborne electronic hardware.
Using its Vehicle Software Integration Lab (VSIL) in Marina, California, the company will leverage flight simulation and hardware emulation capabilities to rapidly conduct thousands of pre-programmed tests necessary to validate and verify the performance of various aircraft software systems. A similar facility will be set up in San Jose, Costa Rica to accelerate software verification efforts.
“For more than 30 years, Avionyx has been privileged to work closely with a number of aerospace companies to bring to market innovative aircraft with increasingly vital software systems,” says CEO Larry Allgood. “Joby's aircraft is one of the most transformative projects that I have seen during my career and our team is excited to play a part in making it a reality.”
Joby's piloted five seat eVTOL aircraft can carry four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, with a maximum range of 150 miles on a single charge. With more than 10 years of development and over 1,000 flight tests completed, Joby is targeting the launch of its aerial ridesharing service in 2024.
In addition to supporting Joby's FAA certification programme, Avionyx, an AS-9100D-certified supplier, will continue its work in support of the broader aviation community.