Ohio River Valley to Become Hub for Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft Manufacturing

by Anna

In a groundbreaking development, Ohio’s historic ties to aviation innovation have been reignited as Joby Aviation Inc. announced its plans to establish a cutting-edge electric plane manufacturing facility in the Ohio River Valley. The agreement, unveiled on Monday, brings the same region that witnessed the pioneering work of the Wright brothers into the future of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft production.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine expressed his excitement, stating, “When you’re talking about air taxis, that’s the future.” He highlighted the significance of this endeavor, not only for the immediate and indirect employment opportunities it will create but also as a signal that Ohio is poised for future technological advancements, likening it to Intel’s presence in the state.


Around the world, eVTOL aircraft are gaining prominence, offering a promising alternative for transporting individuals or small groups from rooftops and parking garages to their destinations while avoiding congested urban traffic. While concerns persist about noise levels and charging infrastructure, developers anticipate that these aircraft will soon provide a widespread urban mobility solution.


Joby Aviation’s decision to establish its first scaled manufacturing facility on a 140-acre site at Dayton International Airport is the culmination of two decades of groundwork laid by Ohio’s leaders. This strategic location is in proximity to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories, emphasizing the state’s historical aviation prowess.


Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted noted, “For a hundred years, the Dayton area has been a leader in aviation innovation. But capturing a large-scale manufacturer of aircraft has always eluded the local economy there. With this announcement, that aspiration has been realized.”


Dayton holds a special place in aviation history as the hometown of the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur. Joby’s formal announcement, fittingly, took place at Orville Wright’s home, Hawthorn Hill, and featured a ceremonial flypast of a replica of the Wright Model B Flyer.

Joby Aviation’s production aircraft is designed to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, with a maximum range of 100 miles. Notably, its noise profile is impressively quiet, blending seamlessly into the urban soundscape. The company aims to integrate these aircraft into aerial ridesharing networks by 2025.

Supported by partnerships with industry giants such as Toyota, Delta Airlines, Intel, and Uber, Joby Aviation stands as a pioneer in the eVTOL sector. The company, which went public in 2021, became the first eVTOL firm to receive U.S. Air Force airworthiness certification.

This monumental $500 million project is backed by up to $325 million in incentives from the state of Ohio, its economic development office JobsOhio, and local governments. Joby intends to construct an Ohio facility capable of producing up to 500 aircraft annually, creating 2,000 jobs. The U.S. Department of Energy has also invited Joby to apply for a loan to support the facility’s development as a clean energy project.

Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt emphasized that Ohio’s rich aviation heritage and experienced workforce were pivotal factors in choosing the state as their manufacturing hub. He stated, “Ohio is the No. 1 state when it comes to supplying parts for Boeing and Airbus… Ohio is No. 3 in the nation on manufacturing jobs — and that depth of manufacturing prowess, that workforce, is critical to us as we look to build this manufacturing facility.”

J.P. Nauseef, President and CEO of JobsOhio, underlined the significance of this project for the Dayton area, a community with a history of economic challenges, including the loss of manufacturing jobs and corporate headquarters. He described it as a marriage of aviation innovation and manufacturing, an unprecedented endeavor for the region.

Operations and hiring will commence immediately from existing buildings near the development site, subject to standard legal and regulatory approvals. The expansive site offers room for up to 2 million square feet of manufacturing space, with construction expected to begin in 2024 and production slated for 2025.

Toyota, a long-term investor and collaborator with Joby since 2019, will continue to provide guidance as the company prepares for scaled production of its commercial passenger air taxi.

This momentous announcement coincides with Ohio’s bipartisan efforts to attract the U.S. Air Force’s new U.S. Space Command headquarters or Space Force units to the state, leveraging its rich aerospace legacy, including the contributions of the Wright brothers, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong.

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