Joby Aviation has completed and received approval of its first systems and compliance reviews by the FAA for its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft that it expects to enter service in 2024. In a March 18 statement, the company said the systems review assessed its plans and processes for the development of complex, safety-critical, aerospace-grade systems and equipment. The systems assessed by FAA officials included flight controls, propulsion controls, and battery management.
The compliance review evaluated the California-based company’s approach to the development and verification of aerospace-grade software and airborne electronic hardware. Joby said that the reviews, completed at the end of last year, provide it with confidence in its development approach, preliminary production design, and a defined path toward certification.
“The safety of modern aircraft owes much to rigorous, well-defined, and repeatable development and verification processes,” said Tom Ferrell, the company’s development assurance lead. “Successfully completing our first System 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 explained that Joby will now proceed to the second round of reviews, which focus on the outputs of its development process, including validation of certification requirements, design capture, and implementation of that design in both hardware and software.
Earlier this month, Joby announced it had completed its first series of FAA conformity tests to confirm the material strength of the composite material used in the aircraft’s aerostructure. In 2020, Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received initial (stage 2) G-1 paperwork from the FAA in 2019.
Joby’s piloted five-seat eVTOL aircraft will carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph and to a range of 150 miles. Having now completed more than 10 years of development and over a thousand flights, Joby plans to launch its aerial ridesharing service in 2024.