On Friday, Joby Aviation of California announced that it had completed the “fastest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date.”
The eVTOL company announced on Twitter that its six-motor, tiltrotor air taxi prototype had achieved an actual airspeed of 205 miles per hour.
“Achievement unlocked — speed! At 205 mph true airspeed, our first pre-production aircraft just completed what we believe to be the fastest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date,” Joby tweeted. “Next stop: 10,000 feet!”
Surpassing the 200 mph mark is crucial in the nascent eVTOL industry, where only a few companies have constructed and flown full-size test aircraft.
Joby has assured investors that its air taxi will reach that speed. Furthermore, the company has stated that the aircraft, which Li-ion batteries will power, would carry four passengers and a pilot. It will have a range of 150 statute miles.
In July of last year, the firm flew 154.6 statute miles on a single battery charge. According to Joby, the flight is “believed to be the longest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date.”
Joby’s speed achievements come roughly two weeks after the firm announced FAA approval for a second pre-production prototype, allowing it to double its flying test capacity. However, that aircraft has not yet taken part in the flying test program, although it is scheduled soon.
Noise, along with speed, is widely recognized as a critical aspect in the economic viability of eVTOLs as urban air vehicles. Last year, Joby collaborated with NASA to investigate the “noise footprint” of the eVTOL. The research’s goal is to see how proposed aircraft operations would fit into a community’s existing background noise.
However, there are serious doubts regarding whether eVTOL firms and communities will supply the infrastructure required for scaled commercial operations. Joby, financed by Uber, plans to use Uber’s ridesharing app to provide consumers with on-demand air taxi services.
Morgan Stanley, a Wall Street investment firm, has identified Joby as a pioneer in the developing eVTOL market. Since 2017, the company has started flying full-scale eVTOL prototypes.
Joby claims it is still on target to obtain FAA-type certification for its vehicle in 2023 as part of its goal to launch an eVTOL air taxi service as a 14 CFR Part 135 air carrier in 2024.