eVTOL developer Joby Aviation has successfully completed the second stage in the type certification process, according to an announcement from the company last week. The Federal Aviation Administration requires companies to progress through five stages before receiving type certification for commercial passenger use of their aircraft. The first stage is defining the Certification Basis, while the second stage involves identifying the methods of demonstrating its Means of Compliance.
Joby claims that it is the first eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) developer to complete the second stage of the process. It was the first of the eVTOL companies to complete the first stage—its Certification Basis is published in the Federal Register. The team is working towards a launch date of 2025 for commercial passenger service.
In the company’s announcement, it clarifies, “It is typical for a small portion of the Means of Compliance to remain open to allow for further collaboration on minor design changes and improvements that may occur later in the certification process. With 94% of our Means of Compliance now accepted by the FAA, Joby considers the second stage essentially complete.”
Didier Papadopoulos, Head of Aircraft OEM at Joby Aviation, said, “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,” in a statement.
Certification Plans is the third stage of the certification process, and Testing and Analysis defines stage four. The final stage of type certification is to “Show and Verify.” Joby’s team has made progress in stage three; they have submitted their first equipment-level qualification test plan to the FAA in addition to four area-specific certification plans.
Joby announced on Tuesday that it has started final assembly of its first company-conforming eVTOL aircraft. Manufacturing took place at the company’s facility in Marina, California. It is qualified as a company-conforming aircraft because it was created “in accordance with a released design and built according to a complete implementation of a quality management system,” according to the press release.
“Joby’s Quality Management System, matured over a number of years, includes tracking and documentation of every part on the aircraft, configuration management of engineering drawings, environmental conditions during fabrication, and actions taken by manufacturing technicians,” according to a statement from the company.
Now, the team is starting installation of the wiring, actuation, electronics, and propulsion systems on its pilot production line. Joby’s objective is to start flight tests before July of this year.
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