Joby Aviation is beginning the final assembly of the first aircraft to be produced at the company’s pilot manufacturing facility in Marina, California.
With 130,000 square feet of manufacturing space built out, Joby is now starting final assembly of the company’s first production-conforming aircraft. Believed to be a first for the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) industry, the aircraft was manufactured on a production line, according to internally-released engineering drawings, and under the oversight of a complete release of the company’s Quality Management System.
Having built and tested the major aerostructures of the aircraft, the wing, tail, and fuselage, Joby is now beginning the process of fusing the aerostructures together and installing the wiring, electronics, actuation, and propulsion systems. According to Joby, the aircraft is expected to begin flight testing within six months.
Didier Papadopoulos, Head of Aircraft OEM at Joby, said: “Beginning final assembly of our first production-conforming aircraft is an incredible achievement for the Joby team. Unlike a prototype, this aircraft was built with a fully-implemented Quality Management System, meaning we are able to trace and verify every aspect of the production of this aircraft – a huge step towards manufacturing at scale.”
Joby’s Quality Management System includes tracking and documentation of every part on the aircraft, configuration management of engineering drawings, environmental conditions during fabrication, and actions taken by manufacturing technicians. The system is reviewed regularly by the FAA as part of the company’s preparation to receive a production certificate following the type certification of its eVTOL aircraft.
Concurrently with low-rate aircraft production in Marina, Joby is believed to be actively evaluating proposals from a number of states to support the construction of its Phase 1 production facility.