Joby Aviation is a Santa Cruz, CA based company developing the Joby S4 eVTOL. The S4 was kept predominantly under wraps from the public during the design phase, but in December of 2020, the company announced Military Airworthiness Certification for the S4 and simultaneously the company's acquisition of the Uber Elevate project. Joby's team is extremely experienced and has executed on numerous projects in the past that demanded a high degree of technical acuity, and the company is now one of the most well-funded eVTOL developers in the world. Notably, Joby has received its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, and has begun forming infrastructure partnerships around the U.S to begin commercial operations.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Winged VTOL
Powerplant: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) System powered by lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide batteries
Range: 150 miles
Top Speed: 200 mph
Propeller Configuration: Four (4) propellers tilt vertically including its entire motor nacelle, and two (2) of the propellers tilt vertically with a linkage mechanism
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 1 pilot and 4 passengers
Autonomy Level: Piloted
Dimensions: 35 ft wingspan, 24 ft length
- Safety assurance in excess of CS-23 cert requirements
- Unified flight control – extremely simple vehicle operations (SVO)
- 100 times quieter than a helicopter
- Weight: 4,000 lb
- Windows: Large windows for spectacular views for the passengers
- Fuselage: Composite
- Landing gear: Tricycle wheeled retractable landing gear.
- First flight: On February 1st, 2018, a prototype executed a 15 minute, 15 mile loop which included a piloted vertical takeoff
Our Take on Joby
Joby's small media presence seems to be by design - Joby's team has been working with maximum intensity on bringing the project to fruition and testing their full scale S4 prototype. The company has recently closed large funding rounds - which included investors such as Toyota, JetBlue Baillie Gifford - and is demonstrating strong momentum as it stands up its new manufacturing facility in California. Once the facility is operational, it's likely we will be seeing substantially more news from Joby as it begins testing and certifying vehicles.