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Joby Aviation Achieves Historic Electric Air Taxi Flight in New York City

by Anna

Joby Aviation, a pioneering company in the development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, made history by successfully conducting the first-ever electric air taxi flight in New York City. The demonstration flight took place on Sunday, November 12th, departing from the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan.

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This milestone flight in an urban setting was followed by a press conference where New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, announced the city’s commitment to electrify the heliport. This initiative aims to position New York as a global leader in adopting clean and quiet flight technologies. Joby’s participation in the press conference included another flight of the eVTOL aircraft.

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Joby Aviation, in collaboration with Delta Air Lines, has identified New York as one of its early launch markets, contingent on certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company envisions offering swift and silent journeys using its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft, designed with zero operating emissions. The aircraft is optimized for rapid, back-to-back flights, boasting the capability to cover up to 100 miles on a single charge—encompassing 99% of all current trips across New York City’s five boroughs.

While ground transportation from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can exceed an hour, Joby anticipates reducing the trip to just seven minutes by air. The company is actively collaborating with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to plan initial operations and develop infrastructure at major airports like JFK and LaGuardia International Airport (LGA).

Joby’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its aircraft design, with a significantly lower acoustic footprint than traditional helicopters. The company collaborated with NASA in 2022 to measure the sound of its aircraft, confirming it registers a noise level equivalent to 45.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) at an altitude of 1640 feet (500 meters)—quieter than a typical conversation.

Having flown over 30,000 miles with its full-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft since 2017, Joby recently marked the production rollout of its first aircraft at the Pilot Production Plant in Marina, California. Additionally, the company delivered the inaugural electric air taxi to the US Air Force for on-base operational testing. Joby aims to launch its commercial passenger service in 2025.

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