With electrification on the rise, several new vehicles and aircraft with bold ambitions are underway. Joby Aviation, an electric aviation company that completed several 150-mile test flights earlier this year, just received its first FAA certification to operate its electric air taxi.
Based in Northern California, Joby is a leading electric eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) manufacturer, and its wild new aircraft could soon carry passengers. Like helicopters or drones, it can take off upwards rather than down a runway, then the rotors rotate forward, and it flies like a traditional craft. Plus, it can hover in mid-air or change directions on the fly, similar to a drone.
This week, and months ahead of schedule, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded the company with a Part 135 Air Carrier Certification, one of several steps Joby must complete before taking to the skies legally.
With this certification official, Joby is closer to its bold ambitions of being the first eVTOL and company to offer electric aerial rideshare services by 2024. It’s like an Uber, but an aircraft.
However, the company still needs to receive a type certification and production certification before it can begin full-scale production and eventually give rides to paying customers. The “type certification” will be a challenge, which will allow the craft to meet the FAA’s design and safety standards.
Joby’s all-electric aircraft has six adjustable rotors that allow it to take off upwards, then rotate to fly forward. It can reach a top speed of 200 mph and thanks to its all-electric motors, can travel 150-miles on a single charge. Furthermore, it can reach those distances while carrying four passengers and a pilot.
Receiving the FAA Part 135 certification is a big deal, but we still have a ways to go before potentially being able to hail a ride in this giant drone-like aircraft.
via The Verge