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We keep saying that flying cars are just a matter of time. Now we’re here with the announcement that Joby Aviation is flying cars over Manhattan. They’re testing their electric Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) flying car in anticipation of certifying commercial air taxi operations. Specifically, to get customers to airports in minutes.  

Certification for eVTOL testing came from the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this summer. Joby is also conducting tests for the U.S. Air Force to the tune of $131 million. The purpose of these flights over Manhattan, which began just yesterday, is to be somewhat of a stalking horse for potential routes to airports in and around New York City. 

What does Delta and Joby want to accomplish with the S5?

Joby Aviation S5 eVTOL  flying car taxi above Manhattan
Joby Aviation S5 eVTOL flying car taxi | Joby

The City of New York plans on configuring the existing heliport for air taxi operations in 2025. “By electrifying one of the most famous heliports in the world, New York is demonstrating global leadership in the adoption of electric air travel,” said Joby CEO JoeBen Bivert. “We’re grateful for the support of the city, and we’re honored to be working with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines to bring our air taxi service to this market. We plan to make quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable, everyday reality for New Yorkers while significantly reducing the impact of helicopter noise.”

For those going to the heliport for travel from Manhattan to either LaGuardia or JFK airports, the travel time is seven minutes. Current travel times are over an hour for the same route. With that contrast, you can see why Delta Airlines is investing over $7 billion for this project. 

Ramping up to 2025, both Joby and Delta are working with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. This means helping in the development of infrastructure to make this a reality. Since 2017, Joby has accrued over 30,000 miles of electric flight with its prototype flying car. 

What is the Joby S5 like?

Joby Aviation S5 eVTOL  flying car taxis ready for takeoff
Two Joby Aviation S5 eVTOL flying car taxis | Joby

Joby Air Taxi FAA Certified: Flying Air Taxis Have Arrived

So, what is this Joby flying taxi? It is a five-seat eVTOL Joby calls the S5. The gross takeoff weight is only 4,800 lbs. For comparison, a 2023 Cadillac Escalade weighs over 5,300 lbs but can ramp up to over 6,000 lbs. 

A lot of companies see the merits of Joby’s flying car, including Toyota, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in development. But Toyota is one of a number of companies investing in Joby’s S5 and its plans for air taxi routes. 

Baillie Gifford, private Saudi business Abdul Latif through Jameel Investment Management, Uber, Toray Advanced Composites, Garmin Electronics, SPAC Reinvent Technological Partners, JetBlue, Signature Flight Support, and many more have partnered with Joby for a piece of the flying car pie. So, as you can see, this is a viable, robust answer to future local travel. In case you were weary of this revolution in future excursions.