The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Joby Seeks Clearance for Public eVTOL Flight Demonstrations in San Francisco

Joby is in the early stages of planning flights in its eVTOL aircraft prototype over San Francisco Bay. The company has confirmed reports in TechCrunch that it has filed an application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for special temporary authority to use specific radio frequencies to conduct the flight tests, each lasting around an hour and at 5,000 feet. It says it is also discussing the plan with other local and federal authorities, presumably including the FAA.

Earlier this month, Joby reported that it has added a second preproduction prototype to a flight-test program that has already logged more than 5,300 miles. This included a flight of just under 155 miles on a single electric charge, which the company claims is the longest flight yet by an eVTOL aircraft, although its rival Beta Technologies says that its fixed-wing Alia 250 prototype has flown 205 miles. Joby also recently reported a flight in which the aircraft achieved a top speed of 205 mph.

According to TechCrunch, Joby intends to make public flights close to two popular sightseeing locations: one between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island and the other to the south of the Bay Bridge and close to Alameda. A company spokesperson confirmed the details in the story. 

Over the past couple of years, much of Joby’s flight testing has been conducted near Jolon in California's Monterey county.

Rival eVTOL aircraft developers EHang and Volocopter have already conducted multiple public demonstration flights in Asia and Europe.

This story was updated on February 18 to correct information about the location for Joby's flight test program.