Forward-looking: California-based Joby Aviation, which has been working on an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for an air taxi service, has released the first footage of the vehicle in flight, and it looks pretty impressive.
Joby has been working on its eVTOL for over ten years and has performed over 1,000 test flights, but this is the first time it’s been shown off publicly, writes New Atlas. The five-seat aircraft—one pilot and four passengers—can reach 200mph and boasts a range of 150 miles.
The vehicle seen in the video, close to what the final design will resemble, uses six large, tilting rotors that give it vertical lift and horizontal winged cruise. Joby says that it takes off quietly (as seen in the video below) and is near-silent when flying overhead.
Joby’s website features an example of what its air taxi service will, hopefully, be capable of. A trip from California’s LAX to Newport Beach is around 43.7 miles by road and takes about one hour fifteen minutes in a car. A direct route by air is 35.2 miles and can be completed in just fifteen minutes.
We’ve been hearing about flying taxi services for years now, and Joby is undoubtedly one company with the financial backing to make it a reality. Toyota and Intel are two big names to have invested heavily in the firm, helping it reach $590 million in a series C finance round, and it’s getting ready to go public on the New York Stock exchange.
In addition to money in the bank, Joby owns Uber Elevate and has agreed on eVTOL certification class with the FAA. The company hopes its vehicle will enter commercial operations sometime in 2024.