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Joby Air Taxi Completes Longest eVTOL Test Flight on a Single Battery Charge

California-based Joby Aviation has announced that it has completed the longest test flight of an eVTOL to date. The company's full-size prototype vehicle has traveled more than 150 miles (241 km) on a single charge, including vertical take-off and landing phases.
Joby's air taxi prototype completes the longest eVTOL flight test 6 photos
Joby air taxi completes the longest eVTOL flight testJoby air taxi completes the longest eVTOL flight testJoby air taxi completes the longest eVTOL flight testJoby air taxi completes the longest eVTOL flight testJoby air taxi completes the longest eVTOL flight test
As part of Joby's flight test campaign, the flight took place at the company's Electric Flight Base in Big Sur, California, earlier this month. Justin Paines, Joby's Chief Test Pilot, controlled the aircraft from the ground, which lifted off vertically before transitioning to forward flight.

The air taxi successfully completed 11 loops on a designated route. After being up in the air for more than 77 minutes, the aircraft landed, covering a total distance of 154.6 miles (248.8 km). JoeBen Bevirt, Joby's founder, commented on the eVTOL's performance, saying that his company "achieved something that many thought impossible with today's battery technology."

Jon Wagner, who previously led battery engineering at Tesla, is now leading the team that is designing Joby's energy system. For the company's prototype aircraft, the team has adapted commercially accessible lithium ion batteries for aerospace use.

Following internal testing, an 811 NMC cathode and a graphite anode cell were chosen to provide the best value between the specific energy required to fly the aircraft 150 miles (241 km), the specific power required to take-off and land vertically, and the cycle life required for an affordable service.

According to Joby, the team has proven in the lab that the battery can operate for over 10,000 "expected nominal flight cycles." For the past ten years, the California-based company has been developing eVTOLs that can transport people from point A to point B in crowded megacities.

With this test flight, Joby is getting closer to put its air taxis on the American skies. Starting with 2024, the company plans to operate its eVTOLs as part of a fast and convenient commercial passenger service. The air taxi will be capable of transporting a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph (322 kph).

Currently, Joby is seeking to receive ceritification from the FAA for its aircraft, having already agreed on a "G-1" certification basis and being issued a U.S. Air Force Airworthiness Approval.

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