California-based all-electric aircraft developer Joby Aviation has completed the second of five stages required by the FAA to certify its revolutionary eVTOL aircraft for commercial passenger use.
In the second stage of the type certification process, a company identifies the ways in which it will demonstrate it has met the regulatory intent of the safety rules (means of compliance) that were defined during the first stage of the process, the certification basis.
Joby believes it is the first eVTOL company to reach this milestone, having also been the first eVTOL company to complete stage one and have its certification basis published in the Federal Register. Achieving this goal moves the company one step closer to its target of launching commercial passenger service by 2025.
“Certification is an integral part of everything that an aerospace company does, and with the achievement of this critical milestone we're now able to confidently focus our efforts on closing the remaining certification plans and completing the testing required to certify our aircraft,” says head of aircraft OEM Didier Papadopoulos. “We're grateful for the FAA's dedication to the safe introduction of eVTOL technology and its commitment to supporting continued US leadership in this sector.”
Joby has also already made substantial progress in the third stage of the certification process (certification plans), with four area-specific certification plans (ASCPs) submitted to the FAA as of November and its first equipment-level qualification test plan submitted to the FAA, enabling for-credit qualification testing to proceed. Progress also continues in stage four (testing and analysis) and stage five (show and verify). Joby provided a summary of the five stages of type certification in its Q2 2022 shareholder letter.
It is typical for a small portion of the means of compliance to remain open to allow for further collaboration on minor design changes and improvements that may occur later in the certification process. With 94 per cent of its means of compliance now accepted by the FAA, Joby considers the second stage essentially complete.