FAA Issues Joby eVTOL Air Taxi-Airworthiness Criteria

Less than a week after it announced the postponement of its planned 2024 launch of air taxi services, Joby has received the regulator’s proposed airworthiness criteria for its electric takeoff and landing planes.

Joby Aviation eVTOL aircraft concept
The future of sustainable flight © Credit to Joby

It has been an interesting few days for Joby Aviation, the pioneering eVTOL brand.

First they push back the official air taxi launch day back to 2025 following expected delays in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines on craft certification, and now they receive the regulator’s proposed airworthiness criteria for its futuristic planes.

The criteria was released on late Monday (“Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Joby Aero, Inc.”) laying out requirements for the company’s eVTOL air taxis to be approved for commercial operation.

Four days prior to this release, Joby officials informed investors that they were postponing its highly-anticipated release until 2025, citing the FAA as the reason.

That said, according to Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt, internal considerations had also encouraged the delay, stating that “manufacturing processes has been steeper than originally anticipated.”

It’s unlikely that Joby now goes back to its original 2024 date, unless it manages to achieve considerable/unexpected progress in the coming months.

Joby has been around since 2009, starting out as a small team of several engineers working out of, what they describe on the website as “The Barn.”

In 2012 they teamed with NASA on several groundbreaking electric flight projects, includng the X-57 and LEAPTech. Five years later Joby’s first full-scale demonstrator took flight, forever changing our perception of short-distance air travel as a result.

It will be interesting to see how this certification affects some of Joby’s competition (Wisk, Archer, etc). Either way, this is a step in the the right direction for eVTOLs everywhere.

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