US-based all-electric aircraft developer Joby Aviation ’s second pre-production prototype aircraft has been granted airworthiness approvals.

In December 2021, both the US Air Force (USAF) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the Special Airworthiness Certificate and airworthiness approval, respectively, for the aircraft.

The new addition and approvals increase the capacity for the flight testing of the aircraft this year.

Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: “Our 2021 flight test programme delivered a wealth of information and experience to support our programme.

“With two aircraft flying at the same time, we’ll be able to increase the speed of our learnings as planned while continuing to fulfil the requirements of our Agility Prime contract.

“We’re grateful to the US Air Force for our ongoing relationship and support and to the FAA for continuing to foster innovation in the aviation industry.”

The company aims to introduce its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft into commercial passenger service in 2024.

As part of an Agility Prime contract with the USAF, Joby expects to commence flights this month and move the aircraft into service.

The eVTOL aircraft can cruise at a speed of 200mph with four passengers and a pilot and has a range of 150 miles.

The aircraft has so far finished more than 1,000 flight tests.

The first pre-production prototype has flown over 5,300 miles. Last year, the company collected 65Tb of test data from the first prototype flights.