The firms have only a small number of employees in the region, according to the coalition. But they are here.
“We are living and breathing Agility Prime here at the DDC (Dayton Development Coalition),” a coalition spokeswoman said.
The coalition maintains that the Dayton-Springfield region is the place to be for this kind of work. Wright-Patterson is here, of course, and Springfield’s airspace has been approved for testing of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities for unmanned aircraft.
“Agility Prime is an exciting opportunity for the Air Force to engage with industry and learn about the difficult task of developing electric air taxis,” AFRL commander Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle said in a coalition announcement. “It also paves the way for AFRL and the Ohio community to advance the science and better understand an innovative capability with both military and commercial benefits.”
Air Force leaders watched an eVTOL demonstration at Camp Mabry near Austin Aug. 20 by Lift Aircraft.
Col. Nathan Diller, Agility Prime lead, said the flight marked “the first of many demonstrations and near-term flight tests designed to reduce the technical risk and prepare for Agility Prime fielding in 2023.”
The Air Force in May selected both BETA, based in Vermont, and Joby, of California, to advance to the third phase of the Air Force’s initiative to create the flying cars, or the “commercial electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL)” vehicles, as they’re sometimes called.
Joby Aviation's Aircraft in Santa Cruz, Calif. Joby Aviation image.
Credit: Trevor Jolin
Credit: Trevor Jolin
“Joby Aviation is excited to work closely with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Life Cycle Management Center and the greater Dayton community to bring the reality of advanced air mobility one step closer to reality,” Luke Fischer, Joby Aviation’s head of government operation, said in the coalition’s release.
“Both companies are leaders in advanced air mobility vehicles, commonly known as air taxis,” the coalition said. “The technology is anticipated to revolutionize transportation and spur the growth of a new industry. The simulators allow pilots to gain experience in a controlled environment.”
“BETA is thrilled to shape the bright future of electric aviation in partnership with the USAF and the Dayton community,” said Kyle Clark, president of BETA.