The ‘flying taxi’ race took on a new chapter on Thursday when Joby Aviation announced it had obtained a Part 135 air carrier certificate, awarded by the FAA, the US civil aviation agency.
The US startup will, in fact, be able to operate on-demand air taxi flights, but with conventional aircraft. For that reason, the company said it will use a single-engine Cirrus SR22 in order to “refine systems and procedures in advance of launching eVTOL service targeted for 2024”.
The Part 135 certificate is one of three required for Joby to put its eVTOL aircraft into service. The other two are the Type Certificate of this model and the Production Certificate, which allows the assembly line to work.
Despite the optimism of Joby’s executives, the road is long and full of mishaps. The FAA has already admitted that it will create a new certification procedure for Urban Air Mobility, but assured that this change will not delay the review process of these projects.
Accident in February
Joby is one of the most advanced eVTOL manufacturers at the moment. Its six-rotor aircraft will be able to carry four passengers over a distance of up to 240 km and reach a cruising speed of 321 km/h. The company already flies prototypes of the model, but in February one of them suffered an accident during a remotely operated flight.
The Californian startup’s electric aircraft is a direct rival to the Eve-100, the eVTOL developed by Eve, an initiative by Embraer in this new segment. The subsidiary of the Brazilian manufacturer, which has just launched its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, expects to debut the commercial service in 2026.