Californian-based eVTOL developer Joby Aviation has acquired Avionyx, an aerospace software engineering firm, to help scale its resources and support the type certification program for its five-seat eVTOL aircraft.
Based in Costa Rica, Avionyx has spent more than three decades providing the aerospace industry with software development and verification solutions.
“Acquiring Avionyx puts us in excellent position to meet the regulatory requirements necessary for us to bring the Joby aircraft to market,” said Tom Ferrell, development assurance lead at Joby. “Having worked alongside Avionyx for the last year, I’m continuously impressed by the wealth of experience they bring to our software verification activities.”
Joby first awarded Avionyx a contract in 2021 to work on software testing and verification activities related to the company’s eVTOL aircraft.
Joby said software verification is a critical part of commercial aerospace certification programs, requiring engineers to review, analyse, and test the aircraft’s software to ensure it meets US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Avionyx has experience performing software verification services to meet both FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.
The company will use Joby’s Vehicle Software Integration Lab in Marina, California, to leverage flight simulation and hardware emulation capabilities to carry out pre-programmed tests that are needed to verify the performance of various aircraft software systems. Joby said a similar facility will be established at its base in San Jose, Costa Rica, to help move its software verification efforts forward.
The acquisition comes after the eVTOL developer completed its first compliance review with FAA representatives at the end of 2021, which assessed the company’s approach to the development and verification of the aircraft’s aerospace-grade software and airborne electronic hardware.
Joby says it expects to receive type certification from the FAA next year, and launch aerial ridesharing services in 2024.