July 29, 2021 By Helicopters Staff
Joby Aero Inc., a California-based company developing an all-electric air taxi for commercial passenger service, on July 27 announced its full-size prototype vehicle flew more than 150 miles on a single charge, including a vertical take-off and landing.
The flight was completed at Joby’s Electric Flight Base in Big Sur earlier this month as part of the company’s ongoing flight test campaign. The aircraft, piloted from the ground by Joby’s Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, took off vertically before transitioning to forward flight and completing 11 laps of a predefined circuit. After more than one hour and 17 minutes in the air, the aircraft landed vertically, having covered a total distance of 154.6 statute miles.
“We’ve achieved something that many thought impossible with today’s battery technology,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “By doing so we’ve taken the first step towards making convenient, emissions-free air travel between places like San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Houston and Austin, or Los Angeles and San Diego an everyday reality.”
Joby’s prototype aircraft uses commercially available lithium ion batteries that have been adapted for aerospace use. An 811 NMC cathode and a graphite anode cell were selected, following internal testing, to deliver what the company describes as the optimal trade-off between the specific energy required to fly the aircraft 150 miles, the specific power to take-off and land vertically, and the cycle life to deliver an affordable service.
The company states it has demonstrated in the lab that this battery is capable of more than 10,000 of our expected nominal flight cycles.