Joby Aviation’s electric-powered, locally take-off and landing electric aircraft have received a certificate of military airworthiness so their tests can begin at the Air Force.
In the first half of this year, the U.S. Air Force launched an unusual initiative: funding for the development of electric-powered, take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles was provided from its own budget in the Agility Prime program. Of course, this is not done out of sheer kindness, but instead of multi-billion dollar tenders announcing one type as a winner, they want to get more aircraft from start-up manufacturers, preferably as cheaply as possible. That’s why the first tangible step has now been taken, as Joby Aviation’s aircraft has been awarded a U.S. certificate of military airworthiness. According to the news, this does not mean that the USAF will buy from the type capable of carrying four people, but the proto-specimen can already, according to its capabilities, take part in “sharp” deployments in the Air Force. Behind it, Beta Technologies is also progressing with the development, the aircraft of which could obtain a military airworthiness license early next year.
Both companies want to put their aircraft in service to the Air Force between Springfield, Ohio and Plattsburgh Air Base in 2021. Together with them, the Agility Prime program has a total of 19 participants in three categories, in addition to the start-ups, there are also large companies, and six already have vehicles capable of flying. To support the developments, $ 100 million a year is planned to be distributed from the military budget over the next period. In addition to doing well, the armed forces could pave the way for future certification programs by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so that procedures tailored to eVTOL vehicles do not impede development while ensuring safety.