Dayton, Ohio, renowned as the birthplace of aviation where the Wright Brothers first took flight, is now set to become the location for Joby Aviation, Inc.'s initial scaled aircraft production facility. Joby Aviation, which is at the forefront of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft development, announced its plans to cement its presence in the historic city.
The company has chosen a 140-acre plot at the Dayton International Airport for its facility, which aims to produce up to 500 aircraft annually. This site also offers prospects for substantial expansion, having the potential to accommodate up to two million square feet of manufacturing space. Preliminary operations are set to begin in neighboring existing buildings, while the construction of the main facility is expected to commence in 2024 and be operational by 2025.
Joby's decision to establish its production base in Dayton isn't just symbolic. The city houses the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories, both of which have been instrumental in aiding Joby's developmental endeavors.
Financially, the venture is underpinned by a series of substantial investments and potential incentives. The State of Ohio, alongside JobsOhio and local political units, has proffered benefits amounting to roughly $325 million. In contrast, Joby has expressed its intention to invest approximately $500 million in the gradual escalation of its operations. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy has invited Joby to seek financing via the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program, which facilitates low-interest loans specifically for clean energy initiatives.
Toyota, Joby's enduring investor and collaborator on the design and inauguration of the pilot production line in Marina, California, has confirmed its continued advisory role as Joby gears up for full-scale production in Ohio.
In response to this development, JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby, stated, “Dayton, Ohio, is where aviation began, and we aim to continue this legacy by revolutionizing aviation once more." He expressed his gratitude to governmental figures and emphasized the exemplary collaboration between public and private entities that makes such technological advancements feasible.
Joby has plans to commence hiring in the upcoming months, primarily targeting roles associated with the new facility's construction and part-machining for its Californian production line. Job openings and application details can be found on their dedicated website.
One of Joby’s standout creations is an aircraft designed to convey a pilot and four passengers, boasting a top speed of 200 mph and a range of 100 miles. The company envisions these aircraft being incorporated into aerial ridesharing networks globally from 2025, capitalizing on existing alliances with industry giants like Delta and Uber.
Today's announcement will culminate in a commemorative event at Hawthorn Hill, Orville Wright’s former residence. The festivities are expected to conclude with a ceremonial flypast featuring a replica of the Model “B” Flyer.
Though Ohio has been chosen as the production hub, this decision followed a rigorous site selection process and is contingent on due diligence, regulatory approvals, and other associated formalities. Notably, Joby's headquarters and research facilities will remain in California, where they continue to expand, offering around 150 open positions across their trio of sites.