Joby to Build Air Taxis in Dayton
By Betty Chen, Vertical Flight Society
Joby Aviation, Inc. announced on Sept. 18 that it plans to locate its first scaled electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft production facility in Dayton, Ohio. Construction on the greenfield production plant will begin in 2024.
Joby’s arrival will continue the city’s legacy of aviation innovation launched by the Wright Brothers, who invented and flew the first powered aircraft in 1903 and lived and worked in Dayton and opened the first airplane factory in the United States there in 1910.
The 140-acre site (56.7 hA) adjacent to Dayton International Airport will initially contain a factory capable of building up to 500 aircraft per year. But the parcel contains enough land for Joby to expand to two million square feet (185,800 square meters) of manufacturing space to meet future market requirements. Joby plans to use existing nearby buildings to begin near-term operations.
An investment of up to $500M by the Santa Cruz, California-based eVTOL aircraft developer, bolstered by additional benefits and incentives valued at a maximum of $325M from the state of Ohio, as well as other state and local agencies, will create up to 2,000 new jobs and support future growth at the site.
Hiring at the Ohio facility will begin in the coming months, “with early roles expected to focus on the build out of the scaled facility and the machining of parts that will initially be incorporated into Joby’s California low-volume production line,” according to Joby.
Joby also announced that it has been invited by the US Department of Energy to submit an application for financing under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program, which provides access to low-interest loans for clean energy projects and would support the scaling of the facility.
The Dayton area is also home for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the US Air Force Research Laboratories headquarters, which has been pivotal in supporting Joby’s progress through AFWERX’s Agility Prime program.
Joby’s long-term investor, Toyota, who worked with Joby on the design and successful launch of the company’s Pilot Production Line at Marina Municipal Airport, California, plans to continue to advise Joby as it prepares for scaled production of its commercial passenger air taxi in Ohio.
In addition to delivering up to nine Joby aircraft to the Air Force under existing government contracts, the company plans to operate the eVTOL aircraft as part of aerial ridesharing networks in cities and communities around the world, starting in 2025, building on strategic partnerships it has developed with Delta Air Lines and Uber.
The first production aircraft produced at the Pilot Production Line in Marina received a special airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in June 2023.
Applicants interested in working for Joby in Ohio are encouraged to register on www.jobyinohio.com. Meanwhile, approximately 150 open positions are still available across Joby’s Northern California sites, where its headquarters, research and development, and pilot production facility will remain.