Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE: JOBY) said it began final assembly of the first company-conforming version of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
The Santa Cruz, California, company said it considers two levels of conformity. “First, company-conforming, where the aircraft is built according to released designs and under the purview of a fully-implemented quality management system. Second, FAA-conforming, where the aircraft is ready to begin for-credit testing with the FAA,” Joby said in a statement.
The company described assembly of the initial aircraft as “a heavy lift” and said the production process represents “an important step” toward the FAA certification required for commercial passenger operations.
“Beginning final assembly of our first company-conforming aircraft is a critical achievement for Joby and a landmark for the wider eVTOL industry,” said Didier Papadopoulos, head of aircraft OEM at Joby. “It unlocks the path ahead and allows us to exercise our quality management system in preparation for type certification and a subsequent production certification.”
Joby said it has built the aircraft’s main structures including the fuselage, wing and tail and has begun assembling those components and installing electronics, controls and propulsion systems. The Marina shop is set up for low-volume production, so Joby is considering proposals from “a number of U.S. states” for the location of a new production plant. The company said it expects to begin flight testing during the first half of 2023.