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MM Blog: Joby Aviation’s Personal 16-Propeller Aircraft

The new aircraft under development by Joby Aviation is hoping to shift transportation from roadways to the skies, for a price tag of $200,000.

The new aircraft under development by Joby Aviation is hoping to shift transportation from roadways to the skies, for a price tag of $200,000.

Joby’s two-seat fixed-wing S2 promises to be five times faster while using five times less energy than conventional vehicles. In an analysis of operating costs, the S2 was just barely behind the Tesla Model S for efficiency, at .$20 per mile compared with Tesla’s .$15.

The electric fixed-wing S2 has can take off and land vertically, courtesy of 16 propellers. Twelve of those propellers aid in takeoff and landing and fold down into aerodynamic bullet shapes when the plane reaches its cruising altitude of 12,000 feet. At that point, four other propellers mounted on the wing tips and tail take over for propulsion.

Although the plane is still under development and hasn’t undergone flight tests, Joby’s design allows the plane to travel up to 200 miles per hour for up to 200 miles. When that threshold is reached, an FAA-mandated 45-minute battery reserve kicks in, just in case you need a little more time. 

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) planes an adequate replacement for cars? Do you see potential problems Joby might encounter?

Email us or leave your comments below.

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