Santa Cruz, CA, Jul 27, 2021 — Joby Aero Inc. (“Joby”), a California-based company developing an all-electric air taxi for commercial passenger service, today announced it had achieved an important milestone in the development of its aircraft, flying a full-size prototype vehicle more than 150 miles on a single charge, including a vertical take-off and landing.
The flight was completed at Joby’s Electric Flight Base in Big Sur, CA earlier this month as part of the company’s ongoing flight test campaign. The aircraft, piloted from the ground by Joby’s Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, took off vertically before transitioning to forward flight and completing 11 laps of a predefined circuit. After more than 1 hour and 17 minutes in the air, the aircraft landed vertically, having covered a total distance of 154.6 statute miles.
Commenting on the milestone, JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said: “We’ve achieved something that many thought impossible with today’s battery technology.
“By doing so we’ve taken the first step towards making convenient, emissions-free air travel between places like San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Houston and Austin, or Los Angeles and San Diego an everyday reality.”
Joby’s prototype aircraft uses commercially available lithium ion batteries that have been adapted for aerospace use. An 811 NMC cathode and a graphite anode cell were selected, following internal testing, to deliver the optimal trade-off between the specific energy required to fly the aircraft 150 miles, the specific power to take-off and land vertically and the cycle life to deliver an affordable service. We have demonstrated in the lab that this battery is capable of more than 10,000 of our expected nominal flight cycles.
The team developing Joby’s energy system is led by Jon Wagner, Head of Powertrain and Electronics, who previously led battery engineering at Tesla. Commenting on the achievement, he said: “Since the day I joined Joby four years ago, we’ve worked hard to maximize the energy efficiency of this aircraft and prove what we have always known to be possible with today’s battery technology. With the right cell chemistry and a lot of hard work across the entire engineering team, we’ve been able to create a remarkably efficient aircraft that can make the most of today’s commercially available batteries.”
Justin Paines, a former Royal Air Force test pilot who helped develop the controls for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before joining Joby as its Chief Test Pilot, added: “We’ve been building up to this for several months now, flying progressively longer sorties.
“As we’ve extended the range, we’ve been able to identify modifications to the aircraft that improve efficiency and, for the final few tests, we were able to upgrade the landing gear on our prototype aircraft to one with a drag profile more representative of what we expect to see on our production aircraft.
“While we still have plenty more testing to do, achieving this milestone is an important validation of our technology and I’m incredibly proud to have played a small part in what is, to our knowledge, the longest all-electric eVTOL flight performed to date.”
Joby’s aircraft is expected to start commercial passenger service in 2024, transporting a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph.
The company is working towards certifying its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration, having already agreed on a “G-1” certification basis and been awarded a US Air Force Airworthiness Approval.
Joby Aero, Inc. is a California-headquartered transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient air taxi service beginning in 2024. The aircraft, which has a range of 150 miles on a single charge, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. It is designed to help reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit. Founded in 2009, Joby employs more than 800 people, with offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, and Marina, California, as well as Washington D.C. and Munich, Germany. To learn more, visit www.jobyaviation.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This Press Release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws with respect to the proposed transaction between RTP and Joby Aviation. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” in “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this Press Release, including but not limited to: (i) the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of RTP’s securities, (ii) the risk that the transaction may not be completed by RTP’s business combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the business combination deadline if sought by RTP, (iii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transaction, including the adoption of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of February 23, 2021 (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among RTP, Joby and RTP Merger Sub Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct wholly owned subsidiary of RTP, by the shareholders of RTP, the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following redemptions by RTP’s public shareholders and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iv) the lack of a third party valuation in determining whether or not to pursue the transaction, (v) the inability to complete the PIPE investment in connection with the transaction, (vi) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement, (vii) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on Joby Aviation’s business relationships, operating results and business generally, (viii) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations of Joby Aviation and potential difficulties in Joby Aviation employee retention as a result of the transaction, (ix) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Joby Aviation or against RTP related to the Merger Agreement or the transaction, (x) the ability to maintain the listing of RTP’s securities on a national securities exchange, (xi) the price of RTP’s securities may be volatile due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which RTP plans to operate or Joby Aviation operates, variations in operating performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting RTP’s or Joby Aviation’s business and changes in the combined capital structure, (xii) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the transaction, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (xiii) the risk of downturns and a changing regulatory landscape in the highly competitive aviation industry. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of RTP’s registration on Form S-1 (File No. 333-248497), the registration statement on Form S-4 discussed above and other documents filed by RTP from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and RTP and Joby Aviation assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Neither RTP nor Joby Aviation gives any assurance that either RTP or Joby Aviation or the combined company will achieve its expectations.