Toyota Gets into The EV Flight Game

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Toyota invests $394 million USD into Joby Aviation.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – January 15, 2020


    Toyota announced a new collaboration with Joby Aviation (Joby), an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The collaboration reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market and Joby’s position as an industry leader in working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone.

    As the lead investor in Joby’s $590M Series C financing, Toyota leverages emerging technologies to provide “Mobility for All.” In addition to investing $394M in Joby, Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s breakthrough eVTOL aircraft. Joby’s design is well matched to serve the needs of an emerging air transportation market where commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers. More details of the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced at a later date.

    The new collaboration with Joby Aviation is anticipated to help bring urban on-demand air transportation into the mainstream and initiate a new category of moving people and goods.

    Joby eVTOL aircraft promises high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds and quiet operations. The aircraft also offers lower operating costs, lower costs of maintenance, and enhanced safety features vs helicopters or planes with similar loads.

    JOBY Specs

    The 4-passenger eVTOL aircraft takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, transitions to forward flight as a plane, and back to helicopter mode to land. The all-electric powertrain supposedly provides near silent cruise. There are no single points of failure and the on-board - maybe autonomous??? - pilot will fly you to your destination.

    Top Speed: 200 MPH
    Range on a single charge: 150+ MILES
    100× quieter than conventional aircraft
    0 local carbon emissions

    A very small 4-person eVTOL that cannot fit in one’s garage, cannot land on one’s street, and needs a ton of yearly permits and inspections does not sound like a profitable way to air travel but I am guessing as to its actual costs?
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  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I don't like the two main prop design with exposed innards when in takeoff/landing mode.
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  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I don't like anything about the design. A single, large rotor is much more efficient than multiple smaller rotors so this craft starts out with a severe efficiency handicap then magnifies it with a very low-density power source.
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  4. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Disney cartoons of the 1960's had the same visions. Just takes more & faster electronics to make it come true. You know the CEOs & rich people want to get above the...... riff raff freeway stop&go&stop traffic. The ideas that started all this were the publicly funded "two-or-more commuter lanes" that rich people turned into a $10+ pay-as-you-go fast lane..... again to get the rich people around the riff raff, while the public pays for it.
    I'm glad I'm retired & don't have to get between points a & b, while on a fast & continuing schedule. Just don't have the money for expensive commuter dreams.
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  5. litesong

    litesong litesong

    The smaller outer electric(faster torque changes than ICE) rotors will give quicker & stronger attitudinal control leverage in all directions, AND without the torque effect of a single rotor at low speed. I'm sure the passengers will appreciate the extra ability to remain vertical in turbulent air.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  6. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Yes. It's not a new idea. And despite it being an old idea, nearly all helicopters today use a single, large rotor to gain the efficiency advantage. Small drones use multiple small electric motors because the control is cheaper. A helicopter is a high fuel-burn craft to begin with so efficiency is paramount in the design. Most use turboshaft engines to get the most hp for the least weight. Again, very low power density battery-electric motors will be at an extreme disadvantage compared to a turboshaft.

    If the engine goes out on a conventional copter it will autogyro safely to the ground. In the craft shown above, if they lose an engine in flight will it do the same? It looks like it would become unstable and crash.
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  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Agreed on the power density...

    A properly designed hexacopter, for example, should be able to survive 1 prop failure.

    Here's an example that I have not personally tested. :)

    I can only see a cached copy of what was on their support page.
    What Are The Benefits Of The Six Rotors On Typhoon H?
    The six rotors allow for the Typhoon H to have a greater overall payload. Further, the additional two rotors create redundancy and act as a failsafe system, so if one motor fails, the Typhoon H can make a safe five-...

    I think it would be a lot more difficult for the Joby design to survive a prop failure. i.e. more complex control problem
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    This should have better efficiency and possibly higher speeds when in fixed wing flight than a helicopter.
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  9. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yes, but the claimed range is hard to believe for a battery-powered VTOL aircraft. Are they assuming some exotic vaporware batteries?
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  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  11. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Obviously, I disagree. A wing's efficiency is directly attributable to its aspect ratio (length vs chord). The greater the aspect ratio, the greater the lift over drag. A propeller is a wing. Early airplanes evolved from biplanes and triplanes to monowings because it was discovered that one high aspect ratio wing was much more efficient than several lower aspect ratio wings. The most efficient airplanes of the day are sailplanes with long slender wings (not multiple smaller wings) The most efficient prop plane ever made was the gossamer albatross human powered plane. It had a 98ft wingspan and an aspect ratio of 19.5:1 (!)--not multiple smaller wings. It swung a single 12 ft prop--not multiple smaller props. Jet engines have gotten larger and larger in diameter to make them more efficient. The bigger diameter is to accommodate higher aspect ratio blades as improvements in material science allow them to take more stress.

    A helicopter needs to be particularly efficient since it takes off and lands vertically. A quad or hex or whatever copter gives up a lot of efficiency compared to the single high aspect ratio prop of the conventional helicopter.
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  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Was it not obvious that this is a tilt-rotor? It has the same wing arrangement as the V-280 in development.

    I am not arguing that it is more efficient in copter mode, and will even concede that it is less. Though an EV multi-copter will likely have a maintenance advantage over an ICE single-copter. JOBY's EV is designed to be a commuter, it will only be in hover mode for take offs and landings. Cruising will be in a fixed wing mode; it may even shut off some of the rotors then. Helicopters are less efficient for cruising flight, because their rotor provides lift and propulsion, which requires compromises to both to achieve stable flight.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  13. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    Every design has trade-offs. A single large rotor is powered by a 420hp turboshaft. Due to the massive rotor torque, a notable chunk of power has to be used to counter the torque of the rotor system. THAT is not efficient.

    Big rotors require big hubs capable of withstanding tens of thousands of pounds of radial load at the hub. This requires a very beefy (heavy) rotor system.

    There's a lot of wiggle room in the inherent inefficiencies of the default rotorcraft design. Focusing on a single design aspect and dismissing the overall system as a result only speaks to one's lack of system design experience as does not paying enough attention to a picture to figure out the intended operation (tilt-rotor vs. rotorcraft).

    Bottom line is that the design presented met the stated goals - whatever they are. A bunch of smaller props is less efficient than one big one, but the cost and performance of six small motors may have been far more advantageous than a massive single motor that then requires some anti-torque provision. Drone control technology is very mature, and that's literally what we're talking about here for vertical flight and horizontal flight. If a single motor goes out, no big deal. The opposing motor can provide up and down thrust to stabilize vertical flight, and the fact that it's a tilt rotor permits glide landing like every SINGLE engine airplane out there, none of which have a spare engine for redundancy. Lastly, it could likely make a powered landing with only two operational motors provided you had one on each side.

    The tilt rotor also ensures it's going to outperform traditional rotorcraft in cruise speed.
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  14. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    I think this is targeted to the executive transportation market in places like New York City, LA, etc..., not for personal commuting.
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  15. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Like I've mentioned in other threads: Got ta get them there "important" people above the general commuter riff-raff at great speed.
    BillLin likes this.

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