While Volocopter, Lilium and many others have been developing their take-off and landing electric planes (eVTOL) in public for years, reporting all the news immediately, Joby Aviation of California has managed to stay almost completely under the radar so far. Now, however, they have shown a working prototype of their six-rotor air taxi, which they claim will launch their own air taxi service in as little as three years.
JoeBen Bevirt, the founder of the startup, presumably doesn’t speak for the air, as the company, founded in 2009, is backed by partners like Toyota and recently merged with Reinvent Technology Partners, whose executives include names like Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder, and Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, which specializes in mobile games. Joby also acquired Uber’s air taxi division, Elevate, which announced last December that it was exiting the market. So the company wasn’t unknown to market players until now, but they kept it a secret from the general public for quite some time, as despite tests having been going on at the California base for a long time, Joby has now shown its air taxi in flight for the first time.
With this, they already find themselves in an exclusive club that has quite a few members outside of them, as most of the announced air taxis have not yet been seen in the air at all (e.g. Hyundai) or have shown a prototype floating a few meters above the ground (e.g. Airbus). Joby’s vehicle, on the other hand, looks fairly mature, and is one of the most advanced eVTOLs in terms of its technical description. While several companies plan to use electric air taxis exclusively for shorter, intra-city journeys, Joby claims that their six-rotor vehicle can travel up to 250 kilometers with four passengers and have a top speed of 320 km / h, which is also significantly higher than previously announced. most air taxis. Joby’s eVTOL, like Bell’s air taxi, is equipped with tipper rotors that, because they are electric, make much less noise than today’s helicopters.