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Joby formally applies for eVTOL type certification in UK

Joby Aviation said it has formally applied for its four-passenger piloted eVTOL aircraft to be certified for use in the U.K. — an announcement the company made on the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow, which is well underway in the U.K. this week.

Joby Aviation said it has formally applied for its four-passenger piloted eVTOL aircraft to be certified for use in the U.K. Joby Aviation Image

The company has been focusing its attention on launching aerial ridesharing services in the U.S. as its first operating marketing, having received its Part 135 air carrier certificate in May to test operations using a fixed-wing aircraft — likely a Cirrus SR22.

Joby expects to receive type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2024, and claims it is the first eVTOL company to apply for foreign validation of its expected FAA certification.

The application to get Joby’s aircraft concurrently validated by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority comes after the U.S. and U.K. regulators announced a collaboration in March to streamline eVTOL type certification and operations — an announcement Joby had applauded at the time.

“By working hand-in-hand on certification, the U.K. and U.S. are setting the stage for these two countries to be amongst the earliest adopters of this important new technology,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “We strongly believe that a collaborative approach to regulation helps to foster greater safety and accelerate the introduction of new technologies that benefit the public and the environment.”

In March, Joby strengthened its ties to the U.K. market when it joined ADS Group, a U.K. trade association for aerospace, defense and security companies. The California startup is also working with U.K. national air traffic control services company NATS to explore how Joby’s aerial ridesharing operations can be integrated into the U.K. airspace.

The company is developing an eVTOL aircraft that’s targeting a range of 150 miles (241 kilometers) and top speeds of 200 mph (321 km/h), used for aerial ridesharing services which it intends to launch in the U.S. in 2024.

Joby plans to operate its U.S. operations using the Joby app or the Uber app, and will be working with TMAP, a South Korean mobility platform, to operate its air taxi operations in South Korea. The company also has plans to introduce services in Japan in partnership with All Nippon Airways and Toyota.

The company has been working with NASA on acoustic flight testing for its eVTOL aircraft, claiming the results from the testing demonstrate its aircraft is quiet enough to “barely be perceptible against the ambient environment of cities.”

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