Joby Marks the First Flight of an Electric Air Taxi in New York City

A Joby air taxi conducted the first-ever eVTOL flight in New York City 8 photos
Photo: Joby Aviation
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Getting from Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in minutes instead of hours is no longer a distant dream. Folks in New York will be able to experience that in just a couple of years thanks to a local air mobility project centered around the Joby eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing).
By 2025, New York City dwellers won't have to spend an hour on the road in order to get to the JFK airport. A futuristic air taxi will take them there in just seven minutes without any uncomfortable noise and without polluting the air. The partnership between Joby, a Californian eVTOL maker, and Delta Air Lines is aimed at turning this vision into reality.

At the same time, local officials are determined to turn New York City into an AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) hub just like other major cities around the world. One of the most important steps in this direction will be to electrify Manhattan’s famous downtown heliport. Most eVTOLs were designed as clean and quiet alternatives to conventional helicopters, which is why existing heliports should also be adapted for electric aircraft operations.

What better way to pave the road towards AAM than a demonstrational eVTOL flight? It happened on November 12, when the Joby air taxi took off from the Manhattan heliport. It was a first for the Californian manufacturer, who had not flown its electric aircraft in an urban setting until now.

Most importantly, it was a first for New York City in terms of eVTOL flights. It was only an "exhibition flight," but it was enough to give people an idea about the future of air transport in urban areas.

Joby and Delta announced their partnership last year. It will offer Delta customers who travel around New York and Los Angeles access to the Joby air taxi for trips to and from city airports. The commercial passenger service is set to kick off as soon as 2025. In the meantime, the two are working on setting up an ecosystem for future operations. This includes specific upgrades for the JFK and LGA (LaGuardia) airports.

The Joby air taxi boasts two main qualities that make it particularly well suited for New York commercial operations. First, it's able to cover nearly all the trips currently taken across all of New York's five boroughs. It boasts a 100-mile (161 km) range on a single charge, in addition to fast turnaround.

Second, it's one of the most silent electric air taxis, and even NASA says so. Last year, NASA testing confirmed that the Joby eVTOL is drastically quieter than standard helicopters.

Last but not least, it will certainly be exciting to fly in the same type of eVTOL that was selected to station at USAF military bases.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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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.
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