Joby Aviation’s first eVTOL has just been delivered to the US Air Force. Already certified, this flying taxi will carry out surveillance, people and equipment transport missions at Edwards Air Force Base in the United States.
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This is unprecedented! While all US Air Force aircraft are powered by fossil fuels, the latter has just received its first eVTOL, in other words an electric air taxi with vertical takeoff and landing. This is therefore a first for an aircraft capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot, or 455 kilograms of payload.
With its nacelle making it look like a helicopter, it is equipped with six electric rotors. Two of the engines are at the ends of its rear V-tail and the other four are on a narrow wing. As with other devices of this type, the engines are directed upwards in order to carry out takeoff and landing maneuvers. Once in the air, the engines tilt forward to propel the aircraft. With them, this flying taxi is capable of evolving with a top speed of 320 km/h.
For the American military, this device is reminiscent of the V-22 Osprey in miniature and 100% electric version. © Joby, Edwards Air Force Base
Dedicated to Edwards Air Force Base in the United States
Before obtaining certification, the Joby Aviation aircraft had been in development for around ten years. Today, the device delivered is the first to roll off the production lines in California. Given the nature of this aircraft, it will certainly not be dedicated to combat missions. The US Air Force plans to use it to carry out aerial patrols on the gigantic Edwards Air Force Base, in order to strengthen its security.
Initially, the military wants to use it in a drone version with a pilot operator on the ground. Still on this same basis, the device could be used to check the surface of the slopes more quickly. Finally, with its capacity to carry passengers or equipment, the Joby can also be used very well to transport personnel or supplies from one part of the base to another in record time.
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