Dayton-bound Joby Aviation launches Big Apple exhibition flight

Flight Sunday in Manhattan was its first in a large urban setting, Dayton-bound manufacturer said

Taking a step closer to the commercial aviation service it envisions, Joby Aviation said it conducted a successful exhibition flight of its electric flying vehicle in New York City on Sunday.

Joby on Sept. 18 announced plans to build the first large manufacturing operation of its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft to a site near Dayton International Airport by 2025, the year it hopes to launch commercial passenger service with its electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Sunday’s event marks the first electric air taxi flight in the city and the first time Joby has flown in an urban setting, the Santa Cruz-Calif-based company said.

The aircraft was flown Sunday from a Manhattan heliport, following several days of preparation flights at a heliport in Kearny, N.J.

“By electrifying one of the most famous heliports in the world, New York is demonstrating global leadership in the adoption of electric air travel. We’re grateful for the support of the city, and we’re honored to be working with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines to bring our air taxi service to this market,” JoeBen Bevirt, founder and chief executive of Joby Aviation, said in a statement Monday. “We plan to make quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable, everyday reality for New Yorkers, while significantly reducing the impact of helicopter noise.”

Joby previously announced a partnership with Delta Air Lines that it believes will make New York one of its early launch markets after receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its aircraft.

The company’s electric vehicles are touted as being quiet, fast and emissions-free. Joby says its aircraft is “optimized for rapid, back-to-back flights” and can fly up to 100 miles on a single charge, covering 99% of all trips taken today across New York City.

“While traveling from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can take more than an hour by car, Joby expects the trip to take just seven minutes by air,” Joby said.

Joby and Delta say they are are working with the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as they plan for initial operations, including the development of infrastructure at JFK and LaGuardia International Airport.

Closer to Dayton, Joby is positioning itself for state and area tax credits for the manufacturing operation it plans.

Recently, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 2.055%, 30-year Job Creation Tax Credit to persuade the maker of electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles — sometimes called “flying cars” — to start manufacturing in Dayton.

The credit has an estimated value of up to $93 million.

Joby says it has flown more than 30,000 miles with its full-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft, starting in 2017.

The company has started making its first aircraft on a production line in Marina, Calif., a line much smaller than the one it envisions for Dayton.

Also since September, Joby delivered the first-ever electric air taxi to the Air Force for on-base operational testing.

Joby’s Dayton-area facility will be capable of delivering up to 500 aircraft per year near Dayton International Airport, supporting up to 2,000 jobs, the company and the state have said.

A local 140-acre site was picked because it has the potential to support growth over time, providing enough land to build up to two million square feet of manufacturing space, Joby said in September.

Construction of the plant is expected to start in 2024 and it is expected to come online in 2025, with existing nearby buildings to be part of the operation.

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