Joby S4 Featured Image

Joby Aviation
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.

Joby S4 CFD (from the 2nd Annual AHS Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop, Aug. 2015)
Joby S4 CFD
Joby S4 top view
Comparison of Joby S2 and S4 with the R22 and R44 (from the 2nd Annual AHS Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop, Aug. 2015)
Comparison of Joby S2 and S4 with the Robinson R22 and R44

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
Capacity 4 Passengers
Propulsor 6 Folding Propellers
Power Lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide batteries
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:





JobyVectored ThrustFlight Testing,  4 PassengersElectric/Batteries, PilotedVFS Member