Joby Aviation has completed the second of five stages required by the FAA to certify its eVTOL aircraft for commercial and passenger use.
During the second stage of the type certification process, Joby will identify ways to show that the aircraft has met the regulatory intent of the safety rules, known as means of compliance. These rules were defined in the first stage, or certification basis.
Joby believes it is the first eVTOL company to reach the second stage, after being the first to complete stage one and have its Certification Basis published in the Federal Register. With this latest step forward, Joby is closer to its goal of having a commercial passenger service by 2025.
"Certification is an integral part of everything that an aerospace company does and with the achievement of this critical milestone, we're now able to confidently focus our efforts on closing the remaining certification plans and completing the testing required to certify our aircraft," Head of Aircraft OEM at Joby, Didier Papadopoulos said.
The California-based company received its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA in May 2022, allowing them to begin operations. The certification was given ahead of schedule as the original completion was expected in the second half of 2022. The process consists of five stages and includes the submission of over 850 pages of manuals for approval and required the Joby first-round pilots to prove their mastery of procedures and training with FAA observation.RELATED STORIES:Joby takes step forward in eVTOL operations with Part 135 FAA certificationFAA seeking public feedback on Joby's electric air taxi model JAS4-1
"We're grateful for the FAA's dedication to the safe introduction of eVTOL technology and their commitment to supporting continued US leadership in this sector," Papadopoulos said.
Joby has made progress on the third step already with four area-specific certification plans (ASCPs) submitted to the FAA in November. The company's first equipment-level qualification test plan submitted to the FAA enabled a for-credit qualification test to begin. In the third stage, the company will develop a range of detailed certification plans to determine which tests are needed for each system to satisfy the means of compliance.
Progress will also continue in the fourth stage, testing and analysis, and stage five, show and verify. The summary of all five stages was outlined in Joby's Q2 2022 Shareholder Letter. In the fourth stage, the company will plan, document and complete thousands of inspections, tests and analyses in accordance with the certification plans from the third stage. In the fifth and final stage, the results of the numerous stages of testing and documentation will be verified by the FAA and if successful, type certification is issued.Joby eVTOL
The second stage is typically left open to allow for further collaboration on design changes and improvements made throughout later stages. Joby said 94 percent of its means of compliance have now been accepted by the FAA and the company considers the second stage "essentially complete."