Joby Aviation says it has begun generating revenue under a U.S. Air Force (USAF) contract to conduct advanced air mobility development work as part of the Agility Prime program. The California-based start-up, which was launched just over 10 years ago, today announced the receipt of initial revenues based on its having achieved an unspecified “major milestone” in its work for Agility Prime, through which it is providing performance data from flight testing of its unnamed four-passenger eVTOL.
Separately, Joby also confirmed that it will use the FAA’s G1 issue paper as the basis for completing type certification of the all-electric aircraft. Last year, the U.S. agency agreed to allow the company to use its Part 23 Amendment 64 rules, covering aircraft with fewer than 19 seats and with a maximum takeoff weight not exceeding 19,000 pounds.
The G-1 issue paper essentially spells out the specific airworthiness and environmental requirements that the aircraft will need to meet to be cleared to start commercial operations, which the company plans to do in 2024.
“While we still have several years of testing ahead of us, we now have a clearly defined and achievable path to certifying our aircraft and introducing customer flights,” commented Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt.
Joby has now completed more than 1,000 test flights with several eVTOL prototypes. In late 2020, the USAF issued a military airworthiness approval for the aircraft.
“The Agility Prime and Joby partnership is now on an accelerated path to identify the opportunities for early adoption of these aircraft for logistics that provide flexibility to operators and savings to taxpayers,” said Col. Nathan Diller, who is director of the USAF’s AFWERX program, which oversees Agility Prime.
Several other eVTOL developers have Agility Prime contracts to support the efforts of the USAF to define how the new aircraft might support a variety of roles, including logistics and emergency medical support. These include Beta Technologies, Elroy Air, and Sabrewing Aircraft.