Joby reveals first in-flight footage of its electric VTOL craft

midian182

Posts: 6,803   +61
Staff member
Forward-looking: California-based Joby Aviation, which has been working on an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for an air taxi service, has released the first footage of the vehicle in flight, and it looks pretty impressive.

Joby has been working on its eVTOL for over ten years and has performed over 1,000 test flights, but this is the first time it's been shown off publicly, writes New Atlas. The five-seat aircraft—one pilot and four passengers—can reach 200mph and boasts a range of 150 miles.

The vehicle seen in the video, close to what the final design will resemble, uses six large, tilting rotors that give it vertical lift and horizontal winged cruise. Joby says that it takes off quietly (as seen in the video below) and is near-silent when flying overhead.

Joby's website features an example of what its air taxi service will, hopefully, be capable of. A trip from California's LAX to Newport Beach is around 43.7 miles by road and takes about one hour fifteen minutes in a car. A direct route by air is 35.2 miles and can be completed in just fifteen minutes.

We've been hearing about flying taxi services for years now, and Joby is undoubtedly one company with the financial backing to make it a reality. Toyota and Intel are two big names to have invested heavily in the firm, helping it reach $590 million in a series C finance round, and it's getting ready to go public on the New York Stock exchange.

In addition to money in the bank, Joby owns Uber Elevate and has agreed on eVTOL certification class with the FAA. The company hopes its vehicle will enter commercial operations sometime in 2024.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,914   +5,462
It's a tilt rotor "helicopter" with a light airplane's wingspan (this is larger than my Cessna 172 Skyhawk's) as per FAA designation and chances are you'll need a pilot's license and FAA clearance to be able to fly it.

When the battery dies, so do you.

These things can't autorotate like a helicopter so if I were FAA, I'd demand that every single one of these things have a Cirrus-style CAPS parachute built into the centerline.
 

opckieran

Posts: 29   +50
It's a tilt rotor "helicopter" with a light airplane's wingspan (this is larger than my Cessna 172 Skyhawk's) as per FAA designation and chances are you'll need a pilot's license and FAA clearance to be able to fly it.

When the battery dies, so do you.

These things can't autorotate like a helicopter so if I were FAA, I'd demand that every single one of these things have a Cirrus-style CAPS parachute built into the centerline.


Nanny State go away. Don’t come again another day.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,914   +5,462
Nanny State go away. Don’t come again another day.


This isn't about "nanny states".

If you want to be able to fly safely without aircraft like this entering your airspace - or you even want to be a civilian walking along without worrying about these things colliding and crashing on top of your head, the FAA has merit.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,577   +628
It's a tilt rotor "helicopter" with a light airplane's wingspan (this is larger than my Cessna 172 Skyhawk's) as per FAA designation and chances are you'll need a pilot's license and FAA clearance to be able to fly it.

When the battery dies, so do you.

These things can't autorotate like a helicopter so if I were FAA, I'd demand that every single one of these things have a Cirrus-style CAPS parachute built into the centerline.

I believe the emergency chutes are going to be mandatory equipment on these types of equipment, at least that was the general consensus that was floating around early in the "air taxi" conceptual phases when the FAA was weighing in.

As for the "battery dies and you do" thing, you are right that if someone is stupid enough to be at altitude with low battery, they're in for a rough ride to the ground. Not sure if this particular craft was engineered for it, but many of the small VTOL craft are engineered with redundancy at least in the power systems - individual batteries to individual (or sets) of rotors, so that if one battery or system fails the others can still operate. Might not be able to continue at full cruise, but at least that gives the pilot time to make a controlled descent and emergency land. It will be interesting to see just how much power and propulsion redundancy the regulatory agencies end up requiring for this new class of electric vehicle once it goes fully commercial.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,469   +736
True break through will be a 100% safe air taxi. This taxi will not fall when it breaks. It will automatically switch to a second, out of three, flight system and safely land waiting to be towed away and repaired.
All these companies are hoping to create something easy to fly to use as a taxi service. And yes, I believe that even now these flying machines are already way safer than they could be 30-50 years ago.
but the fall on a human or even a car with drivers of this device will definitely kill or cause serious injuries.
A device like that can not be allowed to fly in large amounts over residential areas.
I kind of had an idea to decrease the danger of these flying taxies.
My idea is route planned specifically where there are no people, no people are allowed and over roads with tunnels or protection that can withstand a crash of such flying device.
Then there should also be a software installed, strictly controlling WHERE these can fly. Meaning it would be incredibly hard to steal and crash them where people gather.
But the main thing is still backup systems that could fully replace the entire system of engine hardware and software that will keep these in the air.
 
It's a tilt rotor "helicopter" with a light airplane's wingspan (this is larger than my Cessna 172 Skyhawk's) as per FAA designation and chances are you'll need a pilot's license and FAA clearance to be able to fly it.

When the battery dies, so do you.

These things can't autorotate like a helicopter so if I were FAA, I'd demand that every single one of these things have a Cirrus-style CAPS parachute built into the centerline.


If autorotation isn’t going to help than neither is a parachute. Pending altitude of course. Do we know for sure that autorotation doesn’t work on this aircraft? Of how high it flies for that matter.
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,063   +759
Transportation for the elites, not the average person. Equality isn't possible and equity is the big social lie to restructure the tiers of class and caste.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,807   +5,582
Nanny State go away. Don’t come again another day.
You're right, the FAA should be abolished. Whatever imbecile with access to the keys should be permitted to fly an airliner, or maybe an F-22 Raptor without any training..

You need to get your head out of that video game console, (or is it your a**)?