Santa Cruz, California, USA
Joby Aviation’s S4 is a next step continuation of its Joby S2 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) tilt rotor vectored thrust prototype.
The S4 leverages distributed electric propulsion using tilt and folding blade propellers on fixed wings and stabilizers. It can carry four passengers.
Joby plans to initially utilize the S4 as a flying taxi.
The S4 has completed at least piloted test flight that included a vertical takeoff, 15 minutes of flight along a 24.1 km, and a controlled landing.
Except for a few computer images of the S4 presented at the 2nd Annual AHS Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop, held at the NASA Ames Research Center, not much about the S4 has been revealed. It is known the S4 test vehicle is named Rachel and Joby’s efforts are backed by at least five large investors (Capricorn Investment Group, Intel Capital, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Toyota AI Ventures).
Additional details on the S4 could be extrapolated from the Joby S2.
According to the FAA Aircraft Registry, the aircraft has the registration N541JA, and the model number is JAS4-101 and the serial number is JAS4-1 (Joby Aircraft S4, aircraft number 1).
Previously, Joby had studied the two-seat S2 eVTOL, which was similar in basic configuration, but used 16 propellers that could tilt and/or fold.
Joby was initially funded by JoeBen Bevirt, Paul Sciarra and others. Series A and Series B investments have now reached $130M. In January of 2017, Joby Aviation received $970,000 from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon organization that focuses on implementing cutting-edge technology into the U.S. Military.
Joby was honored in May 2018 with the Vertical Flight Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award, given for an outstanding technical contribution to the field of VTOL aircraft development other than a helicopter or an operational vertical flight aircraft. The 2018 Haueter Award was awarded to JoeBen Bevirt, the founder and chief executive oﬃcer of Joby Aviation Inc., for successfully demonstrating the world’s first high-speed multi-passenger electric VTOL aircraft.
|First Flight||Early 2017|
|Propulsor||6 Folding Propellers|
|Range||150 miles (246.4 km)|
|Wingspan||35 ft (10.7 m)|
|Length||24 ft (7.3 m)|
|Max Speed||over 140 mph (225.3 km)|
Primary Takeoff and Landing Location:
- Press release: The Next Phase at Joby, Feb 1, 2018
- Press release: Joby Aviation Secures $100M in Series B Funding, Feb 1, 2018
- U.S. Patent: Aerodynamically efficient lightweight vertical take-off and landing aircraft with pivoting rotors and stowing rotor blades, March 18, 2014
- Article: Ready for liftoff? Two flying taxi startups got Pentagon funding, The Guardian, July 10, 2018
- Article: Air-Taxi Startup Joby Has a Working Prototype and a Fresh $100M, Bloomberg, Feb 1, 2018
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March 2017
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, January 2017
- Article: Lift Where You Need It, Vertiflite, November 1, 2016
- Article: The Joby S2 VTOL Concept, Vertiflite,
- Article: AHS International Leads Transformative Vertical Flight Initiative, eVTOL News, November 1, 2014