The program will see its first major tests in early 2021.
At the Accelerate event, the Air Force announced that the Agility Prime team has completed the airworthiness evaluation report of the Joby S4 design for the Technical Airworthiness Authority.
This is the input to the U.S. Air Force Special Airworthiness Process for Contractor-Owned Contractor-Operated aircraft, and is the path to enable the Joby aircraft to fly under Air Force contract in early 2021.
These flights will provide an opportunity to assess the utility of the aircraft in missions like distributed logistics, medical evacuation, firefighting, disaster response, search and rescue, and humanitarian-relief operations.
Additionally, such flight tests could generate data to support the FAA certification enabling a broader commercial market.
Joby Aviation and BETA Technologies were the first partner companies to advance in the “Agility Prime Air Race,” an opportunity that opened in February 2020.
So far, 19 companies have applied to participate in this solicitation designed to enable companies to eventually progress to procurement contracts.
With a plan of fielding ORBs in 2023, the Air Force is exploring a variety of use cases.