Joby Aviation has announced the successful completion of a series of piloted tests flights, with four of its pilots having performed maneuvers such as free thrustborne hovers and forward transitions to semi-thrustborne flight.
Until now, Joby had been testing its eVTOL aircraft by flying it remotely, controlling it from a ground control station.
The piloted test flights took place at the firm’s facility and test ground in Marina, California.
Soon Joby expects to expand its flight test program to Edwards Air Force Base, also in California. Earlier in 2023 it was selected by the US Air Force to develop and test military applications for its aircraft.
At the head of Joby’s flight test program is James ‘Buddy’ Denham, who joined the company from the military, where he had an important role in the testing of all variants of the F-35 fighter jet, as well as other military aircraft.
Prior to piloting the eVTOL for real, Denham had conducted over 400 remotely controlled flights.