Joby flies eVTOL air taxi in New York City

A Joby Aviation eVTOL air taxi flies in New York City
Photo Credit: Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation Inc., an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer, successfully performed an exhibition flight in New York City earlier this week.

This became the first ever electric air taxi flight in the city, and the first time Joby has flown in an urban setting.

New York City’s Vision for Clean, Quiet Flight

In a historic moment for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Joby Aviation recently achieved a groundbreaking milestone. On November 12, it successfully conducted an exhibition flight in the heart of New York City.

This marked not only the first-ever electric air taxi flight in the city but also the inaugural urban flight for Joby Aviation.

Taking off from the iconic downtown heliport in Manhattan, the aircraft’s flight was accompanied by a significant announcement from New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

The city revealed its ambitious plan to electrify the heliport, positioning New York as a global leader in embracing clean and quiet flight technologies.


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This visionary move sets the stage for a future where electric air travel becomes a norm in one of the world’s most iconic cities.

A Partnership with Delta Air Lines

Joby Aviation’s flight in Manhattan and its participation in a press conference, with plans for the aircraft to fly again, follow extensive preparations at the HHI Heliport in Kearny, New Jersey.

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, expressed gratitude for the city’s support and highlighted the collaboration with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines.

The partnership aims to introduce air taxi services to the New York market, making quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable and everyday reality for its residents.

A Joby Aviation air taxi on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Joby Aviation

Paving the Way for Electric Air Travel

Through its partnership with Delta Air Lines, Joby anticipates New York to be among its early launch markets post-Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification.

The company envisions offering fast and quiet journeys using its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft, which boasts zero operating emissions.

This aircraft is optimized for rapid, back-to-back flights, covering up to 100 miles on a single charge—enough to encompass 99 percent of trips within New York City’s five boroughs.

Transforming Commutes: From Hours to Minutes

In a city where travel from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can be a time-consuming endeavor, Joby’s electric air taxi offers a revolutionary solution.

While the same trip may take over an hour by car, the eVTOL aircraft is poised to complete it in just seven minutes.

This significant time-saving aspect aligns with Joby’s mission to redefine urban transportation and make it more efficient and accessible.

The Adams Administration’s commitment to technology innovation and economic growth has positioned New York City as a leader in embracing new technologies.

Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), commended the city’s strategy for the Downtown Manhattan Heliport.

This strategy not only embraces eVTOLs as a quieter and greener alternative to traditional helicopters but also facilitates maritime freight with last-mile e-bike deliveries, contributing to reduced road congestion.

Collaborative Planning for Future Operations

Joby and Delta are actively collaborating with the Port Authority of New York and the NYCEDC to plan initial operations.

This includes infrastructure development at key locations such as JFK and LaGuardia International Airport (LGA).

Delta’s significant investments in upgrading customer experiences at its New York hubs underscore the airline’s commitment to supporting innovative and sustainable technologies.

Delta’s Perspective

Gail Grimmett, SVP of sustainability performance and strategic partnerships at Delta, emphasized the airline’s dedication to delivering exceptional experiences for customers.

With over $7 billion invested in New York City, particularly at LaGuardia and JFK hubs, Delta sees today’s announcement as a testament to the progress made in launching clean, quiet, and convenient air taxi services for its customers.

Joby’s Acoustic Footprint

Joby’s eVTOL aircraft has been designed with a significantly lower acoustic footprint than traditional helicopters, enabling operation in densely populated areas like New York City without contributing to excess background noise.

In a collaborative effort with NASA in 2022, Joby measured the sound of its aircraft, confirming a noise level quieter than a typical conversation.

This commitment to minimizing noise pollution aligns with Joby’s dedication to enhancing urban environments.


With more than 30,000 miles flown using its full-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft since 2017, Joby Aviation has demonstrated both capability and reliability.

The recent completion of its pilot production plant in Marina, California, and the delivery of the first electric air taxi to the U.S. Air Force showcase Joby’s progress and commitment to advancing electric aviation.

Anticipated to launch its commercial passenger service in 2025, Joby Aviation is set to play a transformative role in the future of urban air transportation.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
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