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Joby Aviation Aircraft

Joby Aviation, Inc., a cutting-edge US company specializing in the development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, has achieved a remarkable milestone by delivering its inaugural aircraft to the US Air Force. Surpassing expectations, this delivery occurred approximately six months ahead of the initially projected 2024 delivery date. Joby’s eVTOL aircraft boasts an impressive range of up to 100 miles, with additional energy reserves, and can achieve a top speed of 200 mph. Moreover, it has the capacity to transport a pilot and four passengers swiftly and silently, all while producing zero operating emissions.

This groundbreaking achievement comes as a result of Joby Aviation’s collaboration with the US Department of Defense (DOD), representing a substantial potential contract value of $163 million, making it the largest contract of its kind in the industry.

The Joby aircraft will find its home on US Air Force bases, where it will be employed to showcase a wide range of logistics missions, encompassing both cargo and passenger transportation. Operations will be conducted jointly by Joby and US Air Force personnel. Notably, this partnership extends to NASA, which will utilize these innovative aircraft for research purposes, focusing on their integration into the national airspace.

The inaugural aircraft was produced at Joby’s Pilot Production Line located in Marina, California. It will be stationed at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) for at least the next year. Joby will provide charging and ground support equipment on the base, housed in a facility specially constructed by the Air Force for collaborative flight test operations.

This achievement marks a historic moment as the Joby eVTOL becomes the first electric air taxi to be stationed on a US military base. This milestone is part of Joby’s $131 million AFWERX Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force, highlighting the significance of this collaboration in advancing aviation technology.

Joby’s partnership with the DOD has a history dating back to 2016 when the company engaged with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). Through this engagement, Joby secured early funding and gained access to invaluable test ranges and expertise that have greatly contributed to the development of their innovative aircraft program.

Joe Ben Bevirt, the Founder and CEO of Joby, expressed his pride in joining the ranks of pioneering aircraft that have showcased their capabilities at Edwards Air Force Base. He drew parallels to historical milestones such as the introduction of the first American jet fighter and the first supersonic aircraft. Bevirt emphasized the pivotal role played by the DOD and NASA in supporting the rapid advancement of electric aviation and eVTOL aircraft. He stressed the importance of successful public-private partnerships in expediting the realization of groundbreaking technologies that hold profound implications for American leadership in both commercial and defense aerospace technology.

NASA’s involvement in the Joby and AFWERX project is anticipated to provide invaluable hands-on experience to their researchers. They will focus on understanding how eVTOL vehicles can seamlessly integrate into the national airspace for everyday use. This research initiative will include an assessment of handling qualities evaluation tools, autonomy, and airspace integration—essential components for propelling the entire eVTOL industry forward.

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