Joby Aviation’s electric air taxi soars over New York skyline, launch date set for 2025

Electric air taxis could soon take New Yorkers from JFK to Manhattan in 7 minutes by 2025, all thanks to Joby Aviation, one of the leading electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) makers. Over the weekend, Joby Aviation took to the skies of New York City to offer the public a vivid glimpse into the potential future of aviation.

During the demonstration flight on Sunday, Joby’s eVTOL aircraft lifted off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, showcasing its capabilities with an exhibition flight against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline. The event marked a major milestone in urban air mobility and the first time Joby has operated in an urban setting.

According to Joby’s founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, the aircraft can recharge in about five minutes, a process that can occur while passengers are disembarking and boarding. The envisioned model is akin to booking a trip through a rideshare app.

In the aftermath of the maiden flight, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared the city’s commitment to electrifying the heliport, paving the way for the anticipated launch of full-fledged commercial air taxi operations by Joby in 2025.

“By electrifying one of the most famous heliports in the world, New York is demonstrating global leadership in the adoption of electric air travel. We’re grateful for the support of the city, and we’re honored to be working with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines to bring our air taxi service to this market. We plan to make quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable, everyday reality for New Yorkers, while significantly reducing the impact of helicopter noise,” Bevirt said.

Meanwhile, Joby and Delta are collaborating closely with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as they strategize for the commencement of initial operations. This involves the development of infrastructure at both JFK and LaGuardia International Airport (LGA). These efforts are an extension of Delta’s substantial recent investments aimed at enhancing the overall customer experience at its New York hubs.

“Delivering exceptional experiences for our customers is why Delta has invested over $7B in New York City, especially at our LaGuardia and JFK hubs,” said Gail Grimmett, SVP of Sustainability Performance and Strategic Partnerships at Delta. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the great progress that’s been made toward launching clean, quiet and convenient air taxi services for Delta customers traveling to and from New York, and is a testament to our innovative partners at Joby and the support of Mayor Eric Adams in advancing new and sustainable technologies.”

Joby’s aircraft was designed to significantly reduce its acoustic impact compared to today’s helicopters. This feature allows it to operate seamlessly in densely populated areas like New York City without contributing to background noise. In a collaboration with NASA in 2022, Joby measured the sound of its aircraft, confirming it recorded an equivalent of 45.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) when flying overhead at an altitude of 1640 feet (500 meters)—quieter than a typical conversation.

Since 2017, Joby has logged over 30,000 miles with its full-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft. Recently, the company marked a milestone with the first aircraft rolling off its Pilot Production Plant in Marina, California. Notably, Joby delivered the inaugural electric air taxi to the US Air Force for on-base operational testing. With plans to kickstart its commercial passenger service in 2025, Joby continues to make strides in the electric aviation landscape.

Joby Aviation said it aims to kick off commercial passenger service in 2025 and is currently in the third phase of a five-stage certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While the cost of booking a trip has yet to be confirmed, the company has indicated that it will likely be on par with the price of a rideshare in a car.

We covered Joby back in March after the eVTOL startup named former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta to its Board of Directors.

Founded in 2009 by JoeBen Bevirt, the Santa Cruz, California-based Joby Aviation’s aircraft is a piloted, five-seat vehicle capable of both vertical takeoff and landing and highly efficient, windborne forward flight. It is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge. The aircraft is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead. The passenger experience is optimized for comfortable ride-sharing operations and efficient entry and exit.

Below is the video of the flight demonstration.

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