back to article US military fuels eVTOL research with $75m contract

A flying taxi company with plans to take to the skies by 2024 has just received a $45 million cash infusion from the United States Department of Defense to explore military applications. Joby Aviation, which is primarily focused on building electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger craft, said in a statement …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    a 150-mile range

    So, we're talking about military. That means that the passengers will be in full battle gear, right ?

    So, if I by this definition, that means twelve men with whatever equipment they need.

    I'm thinking that's a lot of weight for an electric 'copter.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: a 150-mile range

      I'm thinking one Marine per "taxi", with mid-size caliber weaponry, flying in support of ground troops with the ability to evac a few injured troops once some of the ammo weight has been removed. Stationing them 10 miles behind the lines would give them quite a bit of time over the lines, and essentially being electric helicopters they'd be hard to locate and hit by enemy ground troops. These guys could likely pop up from behind a tree or any other small obstruction 15 meters from enemy troops, buzz them with automatic fire and drop back down again before anyone knew what happened. Be a lot better at close support than jet aircraft, but I can't imagine being better than a few A10 Warthogs floating around topside.

      Future iterations would just do away with the Marine pilot, to be replaced with Tesla's Autopilot system. The enemy war effort would be stopped when ambulances and little kids were shot up. Injured enemy troops could neither be evacuated nor replaced after that deployment.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Joby Aviation?

    I hear they are shit.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Joby Aviation?

      Joby Aviation Quadcopter: Where the Joby hits the Fan

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Merkins do rather ask for it some time.

    I'm not leaving anything else on the table.

    Or under it.

  4. Filippo Silver badge

    I don't think that at this point there are many more gains to be made in engine or wing efficiency, so I suspect that the main problem with eVTOLs is battery energy-to-weight ratio. So, most of that money is going to get spent on researching that area.

    That's pretty good for me, because any advances there are going to also be useful on a bunch of other applications, chiefly electric cars.

    1. LogicGate Silver badge

      Aviation can spend milions developing batteries. At the same time, theautomotive industry spends billions. Guess where the breakthrough developments will come from?

      1. Filippo Silver badge

        Aviation might come up with an innovative avenue of research that doesn't look interesting for automotive, but then when it gets refined it turns out to have something useful for automotive as well. Research is weird, you never know where the good stuff may come from.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    The one non-combat role I could see for these is to transport medics and, depending on the cabin configuration, a medic and a patient.

    1. Spherical Cow

      Re: Medic!

      or as a staff car for moving officers around.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So the military version of Total Recall then....

    "Hi I'm GI Joby Cab, where can I take you today"

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like