Electric Air Taxi Takes Flight in New York City

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【Summary】Joby Aviation successfully performed the first-ever electric air taxi flight in New York City. The flight took place at the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan and marks a significant step towards electrifying the heliport and making New York a global leader in clean, quiet flight. Joby plans to offer fast, emissions-free journeys using its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft, which can fly up to 100 miles on a single charge.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 14, 2023 5:19 AM PT
Electric Air Taxi Takes Flight in New York City

Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE:JOBY), a company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, made history by successfully performing an exhibition flight in New York City. This flight marked the first ever electric air taxi flight in the city and also marked the first time Joby has flown in an urban setting.

The flight took place on Sunday, November 12th, at the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan, NY. New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, also announced the city's intention to electrify the heliport, paving the way for New York to become a global leader in clean and quiet flight. Prior to the flight in Manhattan, Joby conducted several preparation flights at the HHI Heliport in Kearny, New Jersey.

JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, expressed gratitude for the support of the city and emphasized the company's commitment to making electric air travel accessible and affordable. Joby plans to work with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines to bring their air taxi service to the New York market. The company's goal is to provide quiet, emissions-free flight while significantly reducing helicopter noise.

Joby previously announced that New York would be one of its early launch markets after receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company's piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft, optimized for rapid, back-to-back flights, has zero operating emissions. It can cover up to 100 miles on a single charge, making it suitable for 99% of all trips across New York City's five boroughs. For example, a trip from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) that usually takes over an hour by car is expected to take just seven minutes by air.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President & CEO Andrew Kimball praised the Adams Administration for driving technology innovation and economic growth while improving quality of life. The new strategy for the Downtown Manhattan Heliport reflects these priorities by embracing eVTOLs as a quieter and greener helicopter alternative. The strategy also facilitates maritime freight with last mile e-bike deliveries, reducing the number of trucks on the roads.

Joby and Delta Air Lines are collaborating with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to plan for initial operations, including infrastructure development at JFK and LaGuardia International Airport (LGA). Delta has recently invested over $7 billion in upgrading the customer experience at its New York hubs, demonstrating its commitment to launching clean, quiet, and convenient air taxi services for its customers.

Joby's aircraft is designed to have a significantly lower acoustic footprint than traditional helicopters, allowing it to operate in densely populated areas like New York City without adding to the background noise. In 2022, Joby collaborated with NASA to measure the sound of its aircraft, confirming that it registered the equivalent of 45.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) when flying overhead at an altitude of 1640 feet (500 meters) – quieter than a typical conversation.

Joby has already flown more than 30,000 miles with its full-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft since 2017. The company recently celebrated the completion of its first aircraft at its Pilot Production Plant in Marina, California, and delivered the first-ever electric air taxi to the US Air Force for on-base operational testing. Joby plans to launch its commercial passenger service in 2025.

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