ABOVE: Joby are hoping to achieve FAA type certification in 2024

Californian eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing craft) manufacturer Joby has successfully performed New York City’s first electric air taxi flight.

In what the manufacturer described as an ‘exhibition flight,’ the Joby S.4 (piloted by James ‘Buddy’ Denham) took off from the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan; also marking the first time the high-winged, V-tailed craft had flown in an urban setting.

Speaking at the heliport, New York City Mayor Eric Adams also announced the city’s intention to electrify the facility: an undertaking that Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation JoeBen Bevirt described as “demonstrating global leadership in the adoption of electric air travel”.

In 2022, Joby collaborated with NASA to measure the sound of its eVTOL, confirming it to be the equivalent of 45.2 decibels when flying overhead at an altitude of 500m (1640 feet). “We plan to make quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable, everyday reality for New Yorkers, while significantly reducing the impact of helicopter noise,” elaborated Bevirt.

Joby has previously announced that it expects New York to be one of its early launch markets (subject to receiving FAA certification) through its partnership with Delta Air Lines. Gail Grimmet, SVP of Sustainability Performance and Strategic Partnerships at Delta, concluded: “Today’s announcement demonstrates the great progress that’s been made towards launching clean, quiet and convenient air taxi services for Delta customers travelling 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”.

IMAGE: JOBY AVIATION