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Joby Aviation Monarch Personal Air Vehicle (defunct)


Monarch Personal Air Vehicle (defunct)
Joby Aviation
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Founded in 2009 by JoeBen Bevirt, 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) aircraft for fast, quiet, and affordable air taxi services. 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 first design for an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and was named the Monarch Personal Air Vehicle (PAV). The pictures and a video of the Monarch Personal Air Vehicle eVTOL aircraft was first revealed to the public at the Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, USA on April 29, 2011. At the time, there was talk of a purchase price of less than $30,000.00 USD for the Monarch aircraft, its low estimated price was due to the low cost of electric motors, propellers, navigation equipment and controllers, that is, if the aircraft was put into mass production.

The first eVTOL aircraft designed by Joby Aviation, named the Joby Monarch

The first eVTOL aircraft designed by Joby Aviation, named the Joby Monarch

Monarch one person eVTOL concept design aircraft
The Monarch is a one person eVTOL concept design aircraft with eight propellers and motors mounted to a main pivoting 37 ft (11 m) tilt-wing and was estimated to cruise at 100 mph (101 km/h) and have a range of 100 miles (101 km). The aircraft takes off and lands with the main wing pivoted to the vertical position and the wing is then tilted to a horizontal position for forward flight.

Four propellers and four electric motors are distributed on the top of the main wing mounted on struts and four propellers and  four electric motors are distributed along the bottom of the wing, again mounted with struts. It has a bubble canopy for excellent aerial views and has one main retractable landing wheel under the pilot's seat, with two small support wheels under each side of the main wing and one retractable rear taildragger skid.

The fuselage for the Monarch eVTOL prototype was built but after more analysis of the design was made, the building of the prototype stopped and the Monarch never flew. Joby Aviation went on and built the Joby Lotus, the Joby S2, the Joby S4 1.0 (Generation 1) and the Joby S4 2.0 (Generation 2) prototype eVTOL aircraft.

Joby Aviation originally was the first partner in Uber’s Elevate initiative with a committed timetable for 2023 to deploy air taxi services through Uber. However, in Uber removed itself from on-demand air taxi service. Joby Aviation will offer their Joby S4 aircraft as a ride share service or be in a partnership with other ride share companies.


  • Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger prototype
  • Passengers: 1 passenger
  • Cruise speed: 100 mph (101 km/h)
  • Range: 100 miles (101 km)
  • Maximum altitude: 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
  • Empty weight: 300 lb (136 kg)
  • Maximum pilot weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
  • Propellers: 8 propellers
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Lithium NCM batteries
  • Windows: A bubble canopy allowing excellent views in all directions
  • Wing: 37 ft (11 m) wide pivoting main mid-wing
  • Length of aircraft: 22 ft (6.7 m)
  • Tail: 1 standard type tail with 1 vertical stabilizer and 2 horizontal stabilizers.
  • Landing gear: 1 single main retractable wheel (under the fuselage), 2 support wheels under each side of the main wing and 1 rear retractable taildragger skid
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), by having multiple electric motors and propellers distributed along each wing, if several of the motors fail, the aircraft can still land safely. There are also other redundant systems for increased safety.

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