It may be quite a while before everyone on the block has a personal electric aircraft, let alone one that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter. But Joby Aviation, well known for its multi-rotor electric flying things, has put forward its latest offering, a personal aircraft unlike no other. The Joby S2 is an amazing two-seater electric plane concept that uses 12 tilting electric propellers to provide multirotor-style balanced VTOL capabilities. The eventual target market? Workers with a longer commute.
The California-based aircraft manufacturer has a new kid on the block, and it’s a two-seater plane with 12 tilting electric propellers that give the aircraft it’s VTOL (vertical take off and landing) abilities. Once it’s in the air and up to speed, the plane’s rotors fold away into aerodynamic bullet shapes, and then the aircraft can reach speeds of up to 200 mph, traveling up to 200 miles using four additional cruise-optimized props on the backs of the wings and tail fins.
Joby S2 features no less than 16 propellers along its wings. The aircraft has a lot in common with a helicopter, but it bests the bird in a few areas. First, the electric propellers are fixed pitch, giving them less moving parts than systems used by helicopters. The S2 will also cost considerably less. The initial cost to build one is estimated at $200,000 and the electric motors mean the operating cost over time will be much lower than that of a helicopter.
Although the aircraft is in the concept stage currently, this is no fly-by-night organization. Joby recently partnered with Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) to create an incredible 18-motor electric plane concept for a NASA project. Before that, the company was best known for its super-handy bendable camera stands, which help even amatuer photographers snap the perfect photo almost anywhere without a traditional tripod. Whether focused on commercial out-of-this-world applications or attempting to address more mundane needs, Joby Aviation continues to push the envelope for electric aircraft.
Images via Joby Aviation