Air Taxi Developer Joby Gets Former JSOC Commander On Board

Joby plans to launch commercial air taxi services in 2024 6 photos
Photo: Joby Aviation/YouTube
Joby eVTOL PrototypeJoby eVTOL PrototypeJoby eVTOL PrototypeJoby eVTOL PrototypeJoby eVTOL Prototype
If Joby succeeds in meeting the deadlines it has set up for its air taxi, it’s only got one year left before the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) officially enters service. In the meantime, it’s beefing up the Advisory Board, with another important figure joining its ranks.
Lt. Gen. (ret) Scott Howell is mostly known for his former role as Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) where he coordinated missions across multiple armed forces. Prior to that, he was also Vice Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Overall, this added up to over two decades of special operations.

Beyond these important titles, however, Howell was and continues to be a helicopter pilot, with thousands of flight hours under his belt.

For the next stage, the former special operations pilot is moving from a helicopter to eVTOLs – a fitting transition. These future air taxis and cargo aircraft took the benefits of vertical take-off and landing from helicopters, and combined them with airplane-like cruise flight, and zero-emission propulsion.

Joby is one of the few who have truly built a reputation in this emerging sector. The California-based manufacturer has unveiled its second prototype at the beginning of last year, but its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) started several years prior.

The DoD expertise and facilities proved to be essential for the technical advancement of Joby’s aircraft, and the partnership has culminated in a research-and-development contract that’s worth $75 million (announced last summer).

Despite the minor setback in early 2022, when its prototype crashed during a test flight in California, allegedly because it had been pushed to go beyond its maximum speed of 200-mph (322 kph) Joby carried on with the tasks at hand. Prior to that, the company claimed to have nailed the fastest flight of an eVTOL to date. Its next goal is apparently to also achieve the highest altitude for its flying taxi, reaching 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).

A five-seater (four passengers plus the pilot) the latest Joby prototype can cover up to 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge, boasting ultra-silent operations, and speed that tops the medium capabilities of other eVTOLs.

If things go well, Joby should be ready to launch a commercial aerial ridesharing service as soon as next year. This is supposed to happen through a partnership with the Delta airline. Delta customers who book flights from Los Angeles to New York will get to also experience a flying taxi ride, to and from the city airports. Those rides will be carried out by Joby eVTOLs.

In the meantime, the Californian electric aircraft company continues to focus on extensive testing, with safety being the number one priority for FAA (the Federal Aviation Administration) certification.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories