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