Ohio, known as the birthplace of aviation with the legacy of the Wright brothers, is set to usher in a new era in transportation. In a significant development, Joby Aviation Inc., a California-based company with support from partners like Toyota, Delta Air Lines, Intel, and Uber, will establish its first scaled manufacturing facility in the state.
Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, expressed enthusiasm about this pioneering move, emphasizing its potential for job creation and Ohio’s commitment to embracing the future. Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which promise efficient urban mobility, are gaining traction globally, and Joby’s investment underscores Ohio’s readiness to lead in this transformative industry.
Situated on a 140-acre site at Dayton International Airport, close to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories, Joby’s choice of location builds upon two decades of groundwork by Ohio’s leaders. The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, had their roots in Dayton, where they launched the first U.S. airplane factory in 1910. To honor this legacy, Joby’s announcement was made at Orville Wright’s home, Hawthorn Hill, and featured a ceremonial flypast of a Wright Model B Flyer replica.
Joby’s aircraft, designed to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour with a maximum range of 100 miles, boasts a quiet noise profile that aligns with urban environments. Plans are in place to integrate these vehicles into aerial ridesharing networks by 2025.
Backing Joby’s endeavor is a substantial investment of $500 million, with up to $325 million in incentives provided by the state of Ohio, JobsOhio, and local governments. This funding will facilitate the construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ohio, capable of producing up to 500 aircraft annually and generating 2,000 jobs. Joby has also been invited by the U.S. Department of Energy to explore a loan opportunity, recognizing the facility’s significance as a clean energy project.
CEO JoeBen Bevirt highlighted Ohio’s appeal, citing its position as a leading supplier of parts to Boeing and Airbus, as well as its ranking as the third-largest state for manufacturing jobs in the nation. The robust manufacturing expertise in Ohio makes it an ideal location for Joby’s manufacturing facility.
JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef emphasized Ohio’s resilience in the face of economic challenges, from the loss of auto manufacturing jobs to the relocation of NCR Corp.’s headquarters. Nauseef sees this venture as a fusion of aviation heritage and manufacturing capabilities that holds immense promise for the Dayton community.
Bevirt confirmed that operations and hiring will commence immediately in existing buildings near the development site, subject to standard legal and regulatory processes. The site’s vast expanse offers the potential for 2 million square feet of manufacturing space.
Construction is slated to begin in 2024, with production set to start in 2025. Toyota, a long-term investor in Joby, continues to be a valued partner, providing support in the transition to scaled production of commercial passenger air taxis.
This landmark announcement aligns with Ohio’s concerted efforts to attract the U.S. Air Force’s new U.S. Space Command headquarters or Space Force units, underscoring the state’s rich aerospace history, epitomized by the Wright brothers and Ohio-born astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. Ohio’s legacy in aviation and space exploration continues to evolve as it embraces cutting-edge transportation solutions.
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