Joby announced both completion and approval of its first Systems Review and Compliance Review. (Photo: Joby Aviation)
Joby Aviation took another step towards certification of its fully electric aircraft in completing its first Systems Review and Compliance Review and earning Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval. The team completed both reviews at the end of 2021 and just recently announced FAA approval. Reaching this milestone confirms that Joby’s development approach, production design, and set goals for achieving certification are headed in the right direction.
The Compliance Review assessed the process of development and verification of Joby’s software and airborne electronic hardware. The Systems Review served to evaluate Joby’s approach to developing its aerospace-grade systems and equipment. Tom Ferrell, Development Assurance Lead at Joby, commented on the importance of a clear, repeatable process for development and verification of aircraft in ensuring safety. “Successfully completing our first Systems Review and Compliance Review demonstrates that Joby’s engineering practices are maturing to a level where they can be applied for the most demanding safety-critical development while producing all the required certification data to prove our design to one of the world’s toughest and most respected regulators,” Ferrell stated in the company’s announcement.
Looking ahead, the team will focus on completing additional reviews centered around “the validation of certification requirements, design capture, and implementation of that design in both hardware and software.” according to Ferrell. A launch date of 2024 is the company’s current target.
The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that Joby is developing has undergone more than 1,000 flight tests. A representative of Joby also recently told Avionics International that the team plans “to conduct more flight tests in the coming year in partnership with AFWERX and other government supporters.”
In December of last year, Joby Aviation was awarded FAA Special Airworthiness Certification and U.S. Air Force Airworthiness Approval for their second pre-production prototype aircraft. Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt remarked, “With two aircraft flying at the same time, we’ll be able to increase the speed of our learnings as planned, while continuing to fulfill the requirements of our Agility Prime contract.”
Joby is partnering with CAE to develop flight simulators for training pilots to operate eVTOL aircraft. Pictured above is JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, and Marc Parent, president and CEO of CAE. (Photo: Joby Aviation)
Two other recent big milestone announcements came from Joby recently as well. On March 9, they shared news of a partnership with technology company CAE to develop training devices for flight simulation. These devices will eventually be used to train pilots for operation of Joby’s eVTOL aircraft. In February, Joby began FAA conformity testing of its systems and structures, entering the implementation phase of the type certification process. Lina Spross, Quality and Supply Chain Lead, explained, “Entering this stage of testing demonstrates that we’re capable of manufacturing composite parts in accordance with their design, our quality system is capable of producing conforming composite parts for the aircraft, and that we have the requisite traceability and design verification processes in place to progress toward our type and production certifications.”