Joby Aviation, Inc., a frontrunner in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft development for commercial service, has picked Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation in the US, as the home for its scaled manufacturing facility.
An Aviation Legacy
The historic significance of Dayton in aviation cannot be understated. It was here that the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, pioneered the first powered aircraft. A century later, Joby Aviation plans to produce up to 500 eVTOL aircraft there annually.
The vast 140-acre area at Dayton International Airport, chosen by Joby, offers ample room for expansion. It can accommodate up to two million square feet of manufacturing facilities. Further emphasizing their commitment, Joby has revealed plans to use existing nearby structures for its immediate operations.
Economic and Environmental Impacts
With an investment of up to $500 million, Joby’s facility is projected to generate up to 2,000 job opportunities. Moreover, in collaboration with JobsOhio and local entities, the State of Ohio has proposed incentives amounting to $325 million to support the project. On a national level, the U.S. Department of Energy is backing Joby’s eco-conscious endeavors. It has invited the company to apply for a Title XVII loan to bolster clean energy projects.
A Pioneering Vision for the Future
The CEO and Founder of Joby Aviation, JoeBen Bevirt, said of the company’s plans:
“We’re building the future of aviation right where it all started, in Dayton, Ohio. The Wright Brothers harnessed revolutionary technology of their time to open up the skies, and we intend to do the same — this time, bringing quiet and emissions-free flight that we hope will have an equally profound impact on our world.
“The US continues to lead the way in introducing this technology, with unprecedented levels of support across all areas and levels of government. We’re incredibly grateful to Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator JD Vance, Representative Mike Turner, and the team at JobsOhio for their support, as well as the representatives of the many other states we worked with during this process.
“Our partnership with Ohio is a great example of how successful public-private partnership amongst industry, local, state and federal government can bring important new technology to life.”
Bevirt envisions these eVTOL aircraft becoming integral to aerial ridesharing networks globally, with plans to start as early as 2025. Furthermore, Joby’s established relationship with its long-term investor, Toyota, ensures an infusion of expertise and guidance as they transition towards the large-scale production of their passenger air taxis in Ohio.
Ohio Leaders Welcome Joby
Governor Mike DeWine said: “Ohio’s legacy in aviation begins with the Wright Brothers and continues with Joby Aviation as they launch a new era in aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton. The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio’s production lines will redefine urban transportation and fundamentally change how people and goods travel. We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made in Ohio, the Heart of Aviation.”
Lt. Governor Jon Husted commented: “Today’s announcement didn’t come about by chance. It was earned through 20 years of strategic planning in the Dayton region, leading us to be in the best possible position for a company like Joby to expand its operations from California to Ohio. Dayton has solidified itself as the center of aviation innovation, from the Wright Brothers to Wright-Patterson AFB, but for over 100 years, that innovation has not been successfully translated into the manufacturing of aircraft and the thousands of jobs that come with it. Today, that elusive aspiration becomes reality.”
Senator Sherrod Brown added: “From the Wright brothers to John Glenn to Ohio aerospace workers across the state today – the story of modern aviation is being written in Ohio. Joby Aviation understands Ohio’s proud history of leadership in aerospace innovation, so I fought to ensure they invested here. Our state continues to lead the country in aerospace innovation. Future technologies, like the flying cars from Joby Aviation, will be invented in Ohio and manufactured in Ohio.”
Senator JD Vance said: “Ohio is the undisputed* home of aviation. I’m excited that new, innovative flight technologies have found a home in the Dayton area, just miles away from where the Wright brothers started it all. We want to see Ohio become the research, development, and manufacturing hub for future military and civilian aerospace technologies. Joby Aviation’s new investment is a welcome step toward advancing that goal. I look forward to working with them and wish them the best of luck.”
Representative Mike Turner commented: “Joby Aviation is a leader in aviation innovation and a pioneer in the air taxi market. Today’s announcement that Joby has chosen the Miami Valley for its new manufacturing facility’s site further signals to other aviation and innovation companies that the spirit of the Wright Brothers in this region is alive and thriving. I look forward to further working with Joby to grow the future of advanced air mobility here in Dayton, the birthplace of aviation.”
Dayton Backs Joby
Dayton Development Coalition President and CEO Jeff Hoagland said: “When Lt. Governor Husted spoke at the DDC’s Annual Meeting in February 2022 and challenged us to land an eVTOL manufacturing facility in the Dayton Region, we were ready. Twenty years ago, we developed a strategy to support an emerging industry that not only aligned with the missions at Wright-Patt but also represented the opportunity for private industry investment. Our region’s eVTOL tagline has urged companies to leverage the region’s network of resources and, ‘Come here to test, stay here to build.’ Joby is doing exactly that.”
Brandi Davis-Handy, Chief Customer Officer – AES US Utilities, added: “AES Ohio has a long history of supporting the needs of our residential and commercial customers. Joby Aviation’s announcement further positions the Dayton Region to play a significant role in the energy transition and the electrification of the aviation industry.”
More Support for Joby’s eVTOL program
Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, Department of the Air Force Technology Executive Officer and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Commander said:
“Through AFWERX’s Agility Prime program, we have worked with several companies to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced aerial mobility technologies, such as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and we’re thrilled to see the results of that investment strengthening the Defense Industrial Base.”
Gail Grimmett, Senior Vice President – Sustainability Performance & Strategic Partnerships – Delta Air Lines added:
“This is a milestone to celebrate. Joby is one step closer to making eVTOL for commercial use a reality and at the birthplace of aviation no less. We are excited about our partnership with Joby and how the new manufacturing site will play a critical role in helping Delta deliver a continued elevated and sustainable experience for our customers.”
Joby Hiring in Dayton
Joby plans to start hiring in the coming months. Early roles are expected to focus on building the scaled facility and machining parts that will be incorporated into Joby’s California low-volume production line. Those keen on being part of this transformational journey can express their interest in roles at the Ohio facility through Joby’s official website.
JobsOhio President and CEO, J. P. Nauseef said:
“When fully executed, the agreement and the forward vision Joby has shared today will mark the largest aviation job creation deal in Ohio history. Today, we continue Ohio’s historic legacy as the past – the present – and the future of aviation innovation and further affirm we are in the midst of an economic renaissance of the American Midwest – with Ohio leading the way.”
About Joby’s eVTOL Urban Transport
With its eVTOL aircraft, promising a top speed of 200 mph and a range of 100 miles, Joby’s aircraft hopes to redefine urban transport. By seamlessly integrating with existing infrastructure and partnering with giants like Delta and Uber, Joby’s vision is on the brink of becoming a reality.
*FlightChic note: Modern aviation evolved concurrently and competitively in different parts of the world. Brazil makes a case for its national hero, Alberto Santos Dumont, as the father of flight. He developed his aircraft while living in Paris and played an instrumental role in advancing aviation. However, the Wright Brothers earned their place in history by achieving the first powered flight in 1903 and completing a 24-mile flight in the Flyer III by 1905.