The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Joby Submits eVTOL Safety Certification Plan to FAA

Joby Aviation has submitted what it calls the first 'area-specific' certification plan to the FAA as part of the process for achieving type certification for the eVTOL aircraft it aims to start operating in 2024. On March 22, the company reported that the plan submitted earlier this week focuses on cabin safety, and relates to materials, seats, and occupant restraints used in the aircraft’s interior.

This task represents the first of several plans the company will need to tender covering specific areas of the vehicle's design and performance. The submission lays out the combination of design reports, analysis, and testing that it will employ to demonstrate compliance with FAA safety standards for one functional area of the aircraft. The requirements addressed in the cabin safety certification plan include crashworthiness, flammability, and protecting occupants in case of an emergency landing.

“Today’s milestone is the result of many years of hard work by both the Joby team and the FAA,” said Didier Papadopoulos, head of programs and systems at Joby. “It’s also another indication of the great momentum we have on the certification front. With more than two-thirds of our means of compliance now agreed with the FAA, we’re looking forward to maintaining that momentum with the submission of further certification plans in the near future.”

In February, Joby announced it had completed its first series of FAA conformity tests to confirm the material strength of the composite material comprising the aerostructure of the aircraft. In 2020, Joby signed a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received an initial (stage 2) signed G-1 from the agency in 2019. The G-1 certification basis sets the specific airworthiness and environmental standards required for FAA Part 23 type certification.

On March 18 Joby said it had completed and received approval of its first systems and compliance reviews by the FAA for its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft that it expects to enter service in 2024. According to the company, the systems review assessed its plans and processes for the development of complex, safety-critical, aerospace-grade systems and equipment. The systems assessed by FAA officials included flight controls, propulsion controls, and battery management.

Joby’s piloted eVTOL aircraft will be able to carry four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, with a maximum range of 150 miles on a single charge.