US-based Joby Aviation has revealed the first production prototype of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as it begins testing after receiving flight permits from the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The company’s eVTOL vehicle is expected to be the first of its kind to be delivered to a customer, and its receipt of a Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA marks an important step on its way there. 

Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: “[This] achievement is the culmination of years of investment in our processes and technology and it marks a major step on our journey to scaled production.” 

Joby’s first eVTOL vehicle to begin testing was built at its Pilot Production Line in Marina, California and is the beginning of the company’s plans to begin commercial passenger services in 2025. 

California governor Gavin Newsom marked Joby’s success with a visit to its facilities to highlight the Californian company’s role in sustainable aviation practices: “Our world-leading climate action relies on the technological advances and pioneering spirit of the private sector.

“Joby is changing the game when it comes to the next frontier of flight – zero emission aviation.”  

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The eVTOL market has quickly become one of the aviation industry’s newest growth areas with over 200 companies working on the technology across the globe. 

Some of the industry’s big players have been looking to showcase their prototype products in recent months, such as Eve Air Mobility, AutoFlight, BETA Technologies, and Blade Air Mobility

While Joby is looking to be the first company to deliver an eVTOL to a customer, it may be beaten to the commercial market by German rival Volocopter, which conducted the first crewed flight of a true eVTOL air taxi in South Korea back in 2021.