Joby Aviation, Inc., which plans to launch large-scale manufacturing of electric aircraft in the Dayton area next year, said Monday it has delivered its delivered its first aircraft to the Air Force.
The aircraft was delivered to Edwards Air Force Base in California some six months ahead of the expected 2024 delivery date, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company said Monday.
“On-base operations with Joby aircraft will be used to demonstrate a range of logistics missions, including cargo and passenger transportation, and will be operated by both Joby and U.S. Air Force personnel,” Joby said in its release. “In partnership with the U.S. Air Force, NASA will also use the aircraft for research focused on how these aircraft could fit into the national airspace, benefiting the entire air taxi industry.”
Joby’s aircraft, which is already flying at Edwards, is the first electric air taxi to be stationed on a U.S. military base and is believed to be the first delivery of an electric air taxi in the U.S., as part of Joby’s $131 million AFWERX Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force.
The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, which oversees the Agility Prime effort, is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Joby, a much-watched player in the emerging field of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft — often called “flying cars” — will build an aircraft production operation near Dayton International Airport, valued at up to $500 million, supported by as much as $325 million in state and local incentives, the company and the state of Ohio said last week.
The plan is historic. Manufacturing this kind of aircraft on this scale has never been attempted, Joby and state officials said.
Joby’s current and previous work with the Department of Defense represents a total potential contract value of $163 million, the largest in the industry, the company said Monday.