Joby Aviation has begun final assembly of what it believes to be the world's first company-conforming eVTOL aircraft.
The aircraft, the first to be produced at Joby's pilot manufacturing facility in Marina, California, has been manufactured in accordance with a released design and built according to a complete implementation of a quality management system, qualifying it as a company-conforming aircraft; an important step on the path to achieving the FAA type certification required to begin commercial passenger operations.
“Beginning final assembly of our first company-conforming aircraft is a critical achievement for Joby and a landmark for the wider eVTOL industry,” says head of aircraft OEM Didier Papadopoulos. “It unlocks the path ahead and allows us to exercise our quality management system in preparation for type certification and a subsequent production certification. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into getting to this point, and I'm very grateful for the energy and commitment of the team behind this achievement.”
Having built the major aerostructures of the aircraft, namely the wing, tail and fuselage, Joby is now beginning the process of mating the structures together and installing the wiring, electronics, actuation and propulsion systems on its pilot production line. The aircraft is expected to begin flight testing in the first half of 2023.
Joby's quality management system, matured over a number of years, includes tracking and documentation of every part on the aircraft, configuration management of engineering drawings, environmental conditions during fabrication and actions taken by manufacturing technicians. The system is reviewed regularly by the FAA as part of the company's preparation to receive a production certificate following the type certification of its eVTOL aircraft.
Concurrently with low rate aircraft production in Marina, Joby is actively evaluating proposals from a number of US states to support the construction of the company's Phase 1 production facility.