Santa Cruz, California, USA
Joby Aviation in Santa Cruz, California aims to leverage Distributed Electric Propulsion experience it gained with the NASA Leading Edge Asynchronous Propellers Technology (LEAPTech) demonstration to fly its S4 personal VTOL aircraft. The Joby S4 is a four-seat Distributed Electric Propulsion aircraft with 6 tilting/folding propellers. Joby stated it planned to begin flying the prototype in 2017, but the company declines to provide an update of its activities. Except for the CFD image (above) no images of the S4 have been revealed.
[LEAPTech ground-tested 18 electric propellers on the leading edge of a wing attached to a truck. Now, Joby is working on the design and construction of the optimized wing, motors and propellers that will fly in 2018 on the all-electric X-57, built under NASA’s Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology Operations Research (SCEPTOR). Replacing the wing on a Tecnam P2006T aircraft, the X-57 “Maxwell” uses 14 electric motors driving propellers mounted on the leading edges of the wing.]
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 is funded by JoeBen Bevirt, Paul Sciarra and others.