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Electric Vertical Takeoff Plane in Development

Joby Aviation is developing an electric-powered vertical takeoff plane called the S2 that the company believes could revolutionize the fixed-wing, personal aviation industry.

The electric S2 two-seater airplane. Image: Joby Aviation

The all-electric plane will be able to take off vertically and fly like an airplane. Joby has built several dozen 10-pound models. The plane would use one dozen electric motors, and includes retractable arms to reposition the motors for takeoff, forward flight, and landing. It will require minimal piloting experience, runs quietly and will be powered by lithium polymer batteries.

NASA is funding a 55-pound unmanned aerial version. Based on supercomputer simulations, a full-scale S2 could fly two people 200 miles in an hour using 50 kilowatt hours of electricity, which would make it roughly five times more efficient than a typical two-seater airplane using traditional fuel.

Source: Popular Science

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@deskeng.com.