Joby Aviation – one of the leading eVTOL developers right now, has taken to the skies of New York City for the first time ever, teasing a not-so-distance future in which it intends to begin commercial air taxi operations in the urban area and beyond. Getting to the airport may just get a lot easier… and quieter.
If you have any interest in the quickly growing world of electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Joby Aviation ($JOBY) should be on your list as a company to keep tabs on.
We at Electrek have been covering the aviation company’s milestones almost monthly the past year, as it continues to elevate toward scaled aircraft production and potentially the holy grail all its competitors also seek – certified commercial air taxi operations.
Joby began building its production-intent eVTOL prototypes in California this past summer after garnering certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin test flights. That milestone, including a pilot onboard, was achieved in early October, alongside testing with the US Air Force as part of a $131 million contract.
Zero-emissions aircraft competitor BETA Technologies also has a contract with the US Air Force and recently flew its ALIA eCTOL from its home in Vermont down to a base in Florida, navigating through Class B airspace above Boston and New York City for the first time ever.
Joby Aviation has done the Big Apple one better, flying its eVTOL around Manhattan to demonstrate a potential route that could save New Yorkers hours on their trips to and from the airport. Check out the video below.
New York sees eVTOL flight ahead of air taxi operations
On Sunday November 12, Joby Aviation’s eVTOL took off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport and performed an exhibition flight amongst the city’s iconic skyline. Following yesterday’s flight, New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, announced the city’s intention to electrify the heliport in anticipation of full-blown commercial air taxi operations led by Joby in 2025. Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bivert spoke:
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.
Together with previously announced partner Delta Airlines, Joby Aviation intends to bring quieter, cleaner, air taxi travel to New York City, beginning with roundtrip travel between Manhattan and JFK Airport. As you’ll see in Joby’s video below, its four-passenger eVTOL could eventually save customers loads of time as it can travel from the heliport to JFK in an estimated seven minutes, compared to over an hour by car. Delta’s SVP of sustainability performance and strategic partnerships, Gail Grimmett also spoke:
Delivering exceptional experiences for our customers is why Delta has invested over $7B in New York City, especially at our LaGuardia and JFK hubs. 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 and Delta state they are already working closely with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to prepare initial eVTOL air taxi operations, including the development of infrastructure at both JFK and LaGuardia Airports.
Joby Aviation will join the Mayoral press conference alongside the NYC EDC this morning to announce the air taxi program and once again demonstrate a zero-emissions eVTOL flight. You can watch that livestream here.
Below is a recent video from Joby as well, outlining what a potential New York City air taxi trip from Manhattan to JFK may look like in 2025.
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