Aircraft

Joby S4 hits 205 mph, flying further and faster than any eVTOL to date

Joby S4 hits 205 mph, flying f...
The Joby aircraft's six rotors all tilt forward in a vectored thrust configuration to achieve high-speed horizontal winged flight
The Joby aircraft's six rotors all tilt forward in a vectored thrust configuration to achieve high-speed horizontal winged flight
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Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation
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Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation
The Joby eVTOL aircraft during unmanned flight testing in California
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The Joby eVTOL aircraft during unmanned flight testing in California
Joby seems poised to dominate the early stages of the eVTOL market, with an excellent aircraft and strong positions in manufacturing, certification, customer service, finance and now ground-based infrastructure
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Joby seems poised to dominate the early stages of the eVTOL market, with an excellent aircraft and strong positions in manufacturing, certification, customer service, finance and now ground-based infrastructure
Joby's eVTOL, like others in the class, burns a lot of battery power in hover mode, and can only realize its impressive range figures once in horizontal flight supported by wings
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Joby's eVTOL, like others in the class, burns a lot of battery power in hover mode, and can only realize its impressive range figures once in horizontal flight supported by wings
Test flights have been unmanned thus far
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Test flights have been unmanned thus far
Joby has completed more than a thousand test flights around its idyllic location in the Santa Cruz hills
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Joby has completed more than a thousand test flights around its idyllic location in the Santa Cruz hills
The Joby aircraft's six rotors all tilt forward in a vectored thrust configuration to achieve high-speed horizontal winged flight
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The Joby aircraft's six rotors all tilt forward in a vectored thrust configuration to achieve high-speed horizontal winged flight
Joby's eVTOL ready for take-off
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Joby's eVTOL ready for take-off
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Joby Aviation has continued expanding the envelope on its S4 electric air taxi prototypes, and on Friday the California company registered what it believes is the fastest eVTOL test flight in history, hitting a true airspeed of 205 mph (330 km/h).

That comfortably surpasses the company's promise of 200-mph (322-km/h) top speeds, and it's unclear whether there's more speed to be found as testing continues. Back in July, Joby announced it had also beaten its projected 150-mile (241-km) range figure, with a 154.6-mile (249-km) test flight it also says stands as a record in the class.

So as it stands, Joby claims the S4 has flown further and faster than any eVTOL aircraft ever built. And it's hard to guess who'll step up and beat either of these records, since very few companies are even aiming for speed and range figures in this vicinity, especially among those that are well-funded and using batteries for energy storage. It might take a hydrogen-powered eVTOL to beat that range figure, and as we're unaware of any hydrogen eVTOLs currently testing off tether, that could take a while.

It's important to note that Joby's record figures were both probably set flying an empty aircraft, weighing around 4,000 lb (1,814 kg), via remote control. Add a pilot and four passengers, and it'll be interesting to see how fast and far it flies closer to its maximum gross takeoff weight of 4,800 lb (2,177 kg).

But either way, these are impressive achievements and a testament to Joby's status at the pointy end of the eVTOL movement.

Source: Joby Aviation (Twitter)

View gallery - 8 images
16 comments
16 comments
Alexander Cokonis
eVTOLs are oversized toys. Only clean hydrogen fuels can do the job.
Arcticshade
EVTOL'S are Versatile, manouvarable Workhorses not toys. Hydrogen will get us more range but clearly Joby has made a machine that on batteries alone, right now is more than viable for commercial use !
dan
workhorses do carry payload, are "robust" and do have "range". So, eVTOLs (this decade and likely the next one too) have a questionable payload, are delicate and lack of range. eVTOLs are certainly not workhorses (this decade). Beyond 2050 batteries might evolve - remember, batteries need to get 10 times more energy-dense, not just 10 % increase what happened the last couple of years. So for this decade, eVTOLs only seem to be overpriced toys for the rich.
Arcticshade
Looks like you are 2 decades behind the times sorry but the future is here NOW.Lots happening outside the cave.

The Joby S4 was made to carry payload, 3 years of patience should do it...testing will see this happen soon enough since it has now been ac
Aproved for official full time testing with sights on commercial use !

Furthermore it is Robust there was never any doubt and yet again it must be explained that range is perfect for city hops and surrounds, a niche Undoubtly Desperately needing this solution.
Delicate not at all compared to countless of sophisticated single point failure wear prone moving parts of current certified rotorcraft (which fails all the time btw)
Joby will Proudly be a next generation Workhorse Soon !
RogerB
Weight rarely affects cruise speed in an aircraft, drag is more of a factor. Of course weight does affect climb speed and the ability to actually take off....
Dave W
Joby really do appear to be leading the pack and assuming continued successful testing we might see them taking passengers around 2025. Personally can't wait for air taxis to become wide spread for trips such as airport to city centers or crossing a busy city in a matter of minutes. However with 150 miles range Joby could do many inter city jumps.
Jezzafool
So just 363kgs left for five people and probably luggage? I think not.
dan
4,800 lb aircraft for 4 PAX? whatever distance they fly today or in a decade or two, a 4800 lb aircraft needs a lot of energy, no matter if electrical energy or whatever, it uses much more resources than e.g. ground (public) transport. so, please stop calling eVTOLs being eco-friendly. they might be cool (toys) but they are not good for the planet.
vadertime
I think adding 5 humans, practical load, weighing around 1000 lbs. will probably limit both the speed and range. At the very least they should have tested it with a pilot on board.
Robt
The range numbers are not ‘real world’, but they might be good enough for a couple of fully loaded JFK to Manhattan round trips (15 miles each way)
The question then becomes, how quickly can you recharge?
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