Joby Aviation Acquires Ohio Facility To Support Initial Manufacturing of Electric Air Taxi

The manufacturer called the acquisition the “first step” of its plan to build a facility capable of churning out 500 air taxis per year in 2025.

Joby electric air taxi Dayton Ohio

Two of Joby’s eVTOL air taxi prototypes sit on the runway at the company’s pilot production line in Marina, California. [Courtesy: Joby Aviation]

Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) manufacturer Joby Aviation is ramping up activity at its scaled manufacturing plant, under construction at Dayton International Airport (KDAY) in Dayton, Ohio.

The company on Tuesday said it acquired an existing on-airport facility and has begun hiring to support its initial manufacturing operations, which it expects to begin later this year. Joby called the acquisition the “first step” in its plan to build facilities capable of churning out up to 500 aircraft per year in Dayton, beginning in 2025.

The manufacturer also said Tuesday that its plans are expected to include the design and construction of a larger greenfield factory at the airfield.

“We’re pleased to be able to acquire an underutilized facility at Dayton International Airport and repurpose it as a modern, high-tech manufacturing center to serve as our initial manufacturing footprint in the region,” said Didier Papadopoulos, president of aircraft OEM at Joby. “Later this year, we expect to begin subtractive manufacturing of titanium and aluminum aircraft parts as we continue to grow our workforce in Dayton.”

Joby’s tiltrotor eVTOL is designed to carry a pilot and four passengers on up to 100 sm (87 nm) trips, cruising at 200 mph (174 knots). The company anticipates commercial launches in cities such as New York and Los Angeles in 2025 in partnership with Delta Air Lines. It will operate the aircraft itself, unlike many eVTOL air taxi competitors.

Joby will outfit its newly acquired facility to manufacture aircraft parts, which will be sent to the company’s Marina, California, pilot production line: a 120,000-square-foot facility at Marina Municipal Airport (KOAR).

Didier Papadopoulos, president of aircraft OEM at Joby, said on the company’s earnings call last month that one aircraft is in final assembly at the Marina facility, with two more expected to roll out shortly after. JoeBen Bevirt, CEO of Joby, estimated the site will produce about a dozen aircraft by year’s end.

“We expect to reach a production run rate equivalent to one aircraft a month by the end of the year as we continue to ramp production in support of certification and commercialization,” said Bevirt on the company’s earnings call.

Joby last year hosted flight services at Marina for the U.S. Department of Defense—under a $131 million contract with AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Air Force—conducted using a prototype aircraft.

An intended expansion to the site would double its annual production capacity, increasing it to 25 aircraft per year as the company works on its scaled manufacturing plant in Dayton.

Joby’s 140-acre site at Dayton International Airport will be capable of producing up to 500 eVTOL aircraft per year when full-scale operations begin in 2025, according to the manufacturer. It plans to invest as much as $500 million and create up to 2,000 jobs.

Toyota, Joby’s largest investor, will advise the company as it prepares for scaled production. Last year, the automaker agreed to supply powertrain and actuation components for its air taxi.

According to company projections, the Dayton site will one day be large enough for Joby to build 2 million square feet of manufacturing assets.

“I am deeply appreciative to the Dayton community, and Ohio more broadly, for the warm welcome we have received as well as the high level of interest in joining our team,” said Papadopoulos. “We look forward to continued collaboration and to growing our presence in the Miami Valley region as we build the future of flight in the birthplace of aviation.”

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Jack is a staff writer covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel—and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.

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