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Joby S2 (defunct)

Joby S2 two passenger eVTOL concept design air taxi aircraft graphic

(Image credit: Joby Aviation)


S2 (defunct)
Joby Aviation
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Founded in 2009 by JoeBen Bevirt, CEO, Joby Aviation is a venture-backed startup aerospace company is located in Santa Cruz and San Carlos, California (USA), that is developing and will manufacture piloted all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for fast, quiet, and affordable on-demand air taxi services for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. Joby plans to start commercial operations as soon as 2025. Bevirt had previously founded the photography accessory company, JOBY (now owned by the British company, Vivendum). 

Joby Aviation purchased the leading hydrogen aviation developer H2FLY, based in Stuttgart, Germany in 2021 (see “eVTOL Leaders Continue Apace,” Vertiflite, July/August 2022). It has been reported that Joby Aviation has 1,422 employees as of January 2023. According to the SMG AAM Reality Index, Joby Aviation has raised over $2.25 billion USD in funding as of June 2024.

The company combines elements of helicopters and small airplanes, offering benefits that include high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds, quiet operations, lower operating costs, lower costs of maintenance, and enhanced safety features. The company's projects now include a Joby subscale prototype, the Joby Lotus, the Joby S2 and the Joby S4 2.0 prototype aircraft. The next project is the Joby production air taxi aircraft.

Bevirt studied mechanical engineering and robotics at the University of California, Davis and Stanford University. Bevirt worked for one of the pioneers of VTOL aircraft, Paul Moller. Moller created the Skycar which was featured on the front cover of Popular Mechanics in 1991. Bevirt is a prolific inventor creating a diverse range of commodities, from making useful consumer products, to LED lights, electric motors, eVTOL aircraft and more.

In 1999, Bevirt started a robotics company, Velocity11, that became “wildly successful” building DNA sequencing robots. He sold the robotics company in 2011 to Agilent Technologies, a spinoff of Hewlett-Packard. In 2006, Bevirt founded the consumer products company called Joby (his childhood name) that made the knobby GorillaPod adjustable tripod for cameras and cellphones that proved to be extremely popular and sold the company the next year. He founded Joby Energy in 2008 to develop giant kites to fly into upper-atmosphere winds and generate high-output electricity. To launch these kites, the company designed highly efficient, lightweight, brushless, permanent magnet motors and generators with high power density. Bevirt sold Joby Energy and served for a year as the chairman of Makani Power before it was bought by Google.

Joby Aviation’s S2 two passenger eVTOL concept design air taxi
Joby Aviation’s S2 two passenger eVTOL concept design air taxi aircraft expanded from its two year collaborative study with NASA that resulted in the NASA GL-10, Joby Lotus and joint NASA/Joby LEAPTech concepts. The S2 featured 12 propellers on tilting and folding nacelles with eight propellers on the main wing and four propellers on the V-tail. Aside from accent and decent these would tilt laterally and the blades fold back to reduce drag. Four additional fixed horizontal pusher props on the main wing tip and stabilizer tips would be utilized for forward flight.

Joby discontinued the S2, using data derived from it and its Lotus demonstrator to work on its four passenger Joby S4 1.0 technology demonstrator. The S2 never flew.

In May, 2018 the Vertical Flight Society presented Joby Aviation’s CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, its 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) for successfully demonstrating the world’s first high-speed multi-passenger electric VTOL aircraft. For information on one of Joby aviation's earliest projects, please see the Joby Monarch aircraft page.

Joby S2 on a vertiport graphic, top view (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

Joby S2 on a vertiport graphic, top view (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

Joby S2 in flight graphic (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

Joby S2 in flight graphic (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

Comparison of Joby S2 and S4 eVTOL with the R22 and R44 helicopter (Image credit: Joby Aviation)

Comparison of Joby S2 and S4 eVTOL with the R22 and R44 helicopter (Image credit: Joby Aviation)


  • Aircraft type: eVTOL concept design air taxi aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Cruise speed: 200 mph (320 km/h)
  • Range: 200 miles (320 km)
  • Flight time:
  • Cruise altitude:
  • Empty weight: 2,000 lb (900 kg)
  • Maximum payload: 400 lb (180 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight:
  • Propellers: 16 propellers (12 VTOL propellers, 4 fixed pusher propellers)
  • Electric motors: 16 electric motors
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Window: Canopy over cockpit
  • Wings: 1 main wing
  • Tail: 1 V-tail
  • Landing gear: Retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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