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Joby's Second Pre-Production Air Taxi Prototype Gets Back in the Sky for More Test Flights

Joby Aviation’s first air taxi prototype has put in thousands of miles so far, flying more than 5,000 of them last year alone. Granted, they were all test flights but the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) has still managed to break several records, like the one for completing the longest flight of such an aircraft, as well as the fastest of an eVTOL to date. Now the company has announced that it’s resumed flight testing of its second pre-production prototype.
Joby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototype 6 photos
Joby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototype
The Californian transportation company unveiled its second prototype back in January. It also announced that it managed to receive FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Special Airworthiness Certification and US Air Force Airworthiness Approval for it. This second eVTOL will be put to service as part of Joby’s Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force.

Joby mentions that the aircraft has made 38 flights to date in support of the company’s aircraft type certification program, reaching speeds of over 90 mph (144 kph). But after the last month’s accident involving Joby’s first pre-production prototype (N542AJ), which crashed at the company’s test base in Jolon, activities have been put on hold. Fortunately for everyone, the aircraft was remotely piloted and there were no victims reported, but the eVTOL was substantially damaged.

The air taxi prototype has now resumed flight testing at Joby’s pilot production facility in Marina, California, as the company’s internal safety review board lifted the pause on flight testing.

The experience of flying in Joby’s air taxi is described by the manufacturer as getting into an SUV rather than an airplane. Its aircraft has a capacity of five people (the pilot and four passengers), is 100 percent electric, and boasts a range of over 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge. The eVTOL can reach speeds of 200 mph (321 kph).

Joby plans to launch commercial operations in 2024.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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