One of air taxi developer Joby Aviation’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype aircraft was involved in an accident during flight testing on Wednesday in Jolon, California. The aircraft, which is one of two Joby prototypes, was being piloted remotely and no one was injured in the accident. The extent of the damage to the prototype and potential causes of the accident have not been made public.
“Safety is a core value for Joby, which is why we have been expanding our flight envelope with a remote pilot and in an uninhabited area, especially as we operate outside expected operating conditions,” the company wrote in a disclosure statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Experimental flight test programs are intentionally designed to determine the limits of aircraft performance, and accidents are unfortunately a possibility. We will be supporting the relevant authorities in investigating the accident thoroughly.”
As previously reported by AVweb, Joby announced last November that it plans to certify its eVTOL as a traditional airplane rather than a multirotor. Its air taxi design, which seats a pilot and four passengers, is expected to have a top speed of 200 MPH and a range of up to 150 miles. The company is targeting 2024 for the aircraft’s entry-into-service.