Joby Aviation today publicly rolled out the first electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft to come off its pilot production line in Marina, California. At the same time, it revealed a host of new technical details about its eVTOL design — including a revised maximum gross weight and key specifications for the motors and battery packs it developed in-house.
Joby said its production prototype was built according to released engineering drawings under the company’s quality management system, “an important step” on the path to Federal Aviation Administration type certification. This particular aircraft is destined for the U.S. Air Force under Joby’s contract with Agility Prime. Following initial flight testing, the company expects to deliver it to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 to demonstrate potential logistics use cases.
Joby confirmed that its five-seat aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of approximately 5,300 lb, up from the 4,800 lb it had estimated previously. That is still significantly lighter than some competing designs — Archer’s Midnight, for example, has an estimated MTOW of 6,500 lb. Yet, Joby claims it will be able to carry a comparable 1,000-lb payload thanks to its optimized design.
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