Joby Releases Flight Photo
A Sept. 25 Aviation Week cover story provided additional insights into the Joby Aviation eVTOL air taxi (see “The First Electric VTOL Unicorn: Joby Aviation,” Vertiflite, March/April 2020). The article reiterated that the original unmanned prototype that was sized for four seats is referred to as "1.0" and the second aircraft, referred to as "2.0" or "second generation" is larger: “Sized to carry four passengers and one pilot, it will be capable of operating day/night flights in instrument or visual flight rules up to 150 nm [280 km]. Although only 21 ft [6.4 m] long overall, the aircraft has a wingspan of 38 ft [11.6 m].” The article also restated that “Subscale S4 prototypes were flown more than 700 times starting in 2015, and in 2017 the company began remotely piloted tests of the first-generation, full-scale “1.0” version.
Building on this high-wing, six-propeller configuration, Joby started flight tests in 2019 of the second-generation “2.0” version.” While all of these details had been included in exclusive Vertiflite articles over the past several years, this was the first detailed story on Joby’s air taxi in another publication. The article also highlighted that the changes “included increased gross weight — up to 4,800 lb [2,177 kg] — and a revised swept-forward V-tail.” The article also revealed plans and progress on pilotage for its pre-production 2.0 air taxi: “Joby says ‘several hundred’ flights have been completed to date, including some with a pilot onboard. Although some testing can be flown remotely, the certified S4 will be piloted to enable integration into the existing national airspace.” (Sources: Aviation Week, Vertiflite)