Aviation Technology

Joby Delivers First eVTOL Aircraft to Edwards Air Force Base Ahead of Schedule

joby-delivers-first-evtol-aircraft
Joby Aviation, Inc, a company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, today announced it has delivered its first aircraft to Edwards Air Force Base approximately six months ahead of the expected 2024 delivery date. On-base operations with Joby aircraft will be used to demonstrate a range of logistics missions, including cargo and passenger transportation, and will be operated by both Joby and U.S. Air Force personnel. In partnership with the U.S. Air Force, NASA will also use the aircraft for research focused on how these aircraft could fit into the national airspace, benefiting the entire air taxi industry.

Joby’s aircraft, which has already begun flying at Edwards AFB, is the first electric air taxi to be stationed on a U.S. military base and is believed to be the first delivery of an electric air taxi in the U.S., as part of Joby’s $131 million AFWERX Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force. Joby’s current and previously completed work with the Department of Defense represents a total potential contract value of $163 million, the largest in the industry.

The Agility Prime contract includes the provisioning of up to nine aircraft to the U.S. Air Force and other federal agencies, reinforcing the U.S. government’s continued leadership in developing and adopting eVTOL technology, and ushering in a new era of electric aviation. A second aircraft is planned to be delivered to Edwards in early 2024.

The aircraft, which was the first built on Joby’s Pilot Production Line in Marina, CA, will be stationed at Edwards Air Force Base for at least the next year, with charging and ground support equipment provided on-base by Joby in a facility purpose-built by the Air Force for joint flight test operations. The U.S. Air Force and Joby will conduct joint flight testing and operations to demonstrate the aircraft’s capabilities in realistic mission settings. On-base operations will also include the training of Air Force pilots and aircraft maintenance crews, which will provide the DOD with valuable insight into the performance of eVTOL aircraft and will give Joby on-the-ground operational and training experience as the company prepares for the launch of commercial passenger service in 2025.

“We’re proud to join the ranks of revolutionary aircraft that first demonstrated their capabilities at Edwards Air Force Base, including the first American jet fighter, the first supersonic aircraft, and many others that have pushed the boundaries of aviation technology,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby.

“The longstanding support of the DOD and NASA has been critical to the rapid development of electric aviation and eVTOL aircraft, and demonstrates how successful public-private partnerships can bring new technology to life at speed. Their work will have profound implications for continued American leadership in both commercial and defense aerospace technology,” he added.

Joby’s partnership with the DOD dates back to its 2016 engagement with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which granted the company early funding as well as access to test ranges and expertise that have aided its aircraft development program.

“Agility Prime’s stated objective in 2020 was to work towards an operational capability for transformative vertical lift in the DoD by 2023. The arrival of Joby’s aircraft at Edwards AFB is an important step towards achieving this objective,” said Col Elliott Leigh, AFWERX director and Chief Commercialization Officer for the Department of the Air Force.

“The delivery of this first eVTOL aircraft is the start of a new chapter in Edwards’ rich aerospace history,” notes Maj Phillip Woodhull, director, Emerging Technologies Integrated Test Force. “This partners private industry with the 412th Test Wing’s world-renowned test management execution. We are excited to agilely test, experiment with, and evaluate this new technology for potential future national defense applications.”

In partnership with the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program, NASA will also be supporting this testing at Edwards Air Force Base with NASA’s pilots, researchers, and equipment as part of their commitment to advancing the Advanced Air Mobility industry as a whole, for the benefit of all. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center is located on Edwards Air Force Base, and has a long history of supporting important technological milestones in aviation and space – supersonic and hypersonic flight, digital fly-by-wire control systems, and the space shuttles.

“NASA’s participation in the Joby and AFWERX project will provide our researchers with hands-on experience with a representative eVTOL vehicle, concentrated on how these types of aircraft could fit into the national airspace for everyday use, that will inform NASA’s effort in supporting the entire eVTOL industry,” said NASA research pilot Wayne Ringelberg. “The research will include a focus on handling qualities evaluation tools, autonomy, and airspace integration, which is all needed research to push the industry forward.”

Over the past year, the U.S. Air Force and Marines have made multiple visits to Joby’s manufacturing and flight test facilities in Marina, CA. Four U.S. Air Force pilots completed full remotely-piloted transition flights of the Joby aircraft in April, and two groups of Marines visited in May to conduct mission analysis regarding potential logistics and medical applications of the aircraft.

With a range of up to 100 miles plus energy reserves and a top speed of 200 mph, the Joby aircraft is capable of transporting a pilot and four passengers quickly and quietly with zero operating emissions.

The delivery will be celebrated at an event held this morning at 10:00am PT at Edwards Air Force Base. The event can be watched live via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qVLQsz_YJc.

Media assets, including photos and videos of the Joby aircraft in flight, are available here.

About Joby
Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world.

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.

About AFWERX
The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory brings cutting edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability.

Spotlight

Spotlight

Related News

Aerospace, Aviation Technology

WestJet adding to fleet in 2025 through leasing of five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Newswire | January 24, 2024

WestJet today announced the acquisition of five brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 to its fleet, adding to the airline's already significant multi-billion-dollar investment in its orderbook. The airline expects to receive delivery of the aircraft in early 2025, after recently completing leasing agreements with China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (CDB Aviation) for three aircraft and international aircraft leasing company, Avolon for two aircraft. "We are adding these five aircraft to our 737 MAX family very soon and look forward to this additional capacity enhancing our already forecasted fleet expansion, further enabling our execution of providing affordable and diverse air travel options for our guests," said Mike Scott, WestJet Group, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. "As Canada's coast-to-coast leisure champion and western home carrier, the continued expansion of our fleet in tandem with our low-cost foundation is a key accelerator of our growth strategy. Combined with its existing order book, WestJet will now receive as many as 22 brand new Boeing 737 MAX airplanes before the end of 2025, and up to 62 additional airplanes of this type before the end of 2028. This makes WestJet's narrowbody orderbook the largest of any Canadian airline. "CDB Aviation values our expanding relationship with WestJet and we are pleased to be able to support the airline's fleet expansion in an environmentally friendly manner as we lease these three new fuel-efficient B737-8 aircraft direct from our orderbook," stated Jie Chen, CDB Aviation's Chief Executive Officer. "We're delighted to be expanding on our strong relationship with Westjet and are pleased to support WestJet's fleet expansion needs from our Boeing orderbook," said Paul Geaney, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Avolon. "We expect to see continued growth for the aviation sector in the coming years, including in North America, and are excited to provide a fleet solution to a strategic customer in the region."

Read More

Aerospace, Commercial Aviation, Aviation Technology

AAR signs extension and expansion of flight-hour component support agreement with ASL Aviation Holdings DAC

AAR CORP | January 04, 2024

AAR CORP. a leading provider of aviation services to commercial and government operators, MROs, and OEMs, has signed a multi-year contract extension and expansion for flight-hour component support services with ASL Aviation Holdings DAC (ASL Airlines). The contract extends and expands AAR's existing component support agreement with ASL Airlines Belgium to include ASL Airlines France, ASL Airlines United Kingdom, and ASL Airlines Ireland. AAR currently supports 28 ASL aircraft, which is expected to increase to 65 under the new agreement. AAR's Integrated Solutions' segment will provide 24/7 component support services for the airlines' Boeing 737 fleets. For more than a decade, ASL has benefited from AAR's proven excellence in delivering flight-hour support services and associated cost efficiencies, which enable the on-time performance of ASL's operations," said James George, ASL Aviation Holdings' Head of Procurement. "We are delighted to expand our partnership with AAR to include additional ASL airlines." "AAR's strategically located warehouses and support teams expedite the delivery of components and reduce maintenance turnaround times for ASL," said Chris Fiddes, AAR's Vice President of Commercial Programs. "We look forward to the expansion of our relationship as ASL grows and modernizes its fleet.

Read More

Aerospace, Defense and Space, Aviation Technology

AAR signs new multi-year military distribution agreement with Ontic

AAR | January 05, 2024

AAR CORP. a leading provider of aviation services to commercial and government operators, MROs, and OEMs, has announced a new multi-year agreement with Ontic, providing AAR distribution rights to supply a strategic selection of military products to the U.S. government, with exclusivity on specified parts. AAR currently provides military distribution support to Ontic's Cheltenham, United Kingdom, facility and commercial distribution support to Ontic's Creedmoor, North Carolina, facility. Under this additional contract, AAR will support Ontic's Chatsworth, California, facility. Ontic is pleased to deepen our partnership with AAR through this new agreement. AAR's support adds efficiencies to our processes that allow us to best support our wide range of customers," said Terry Streb, General Manager of Ontic's Chatsworth facility. "AAR enables us to reduce turnaround times and improve product availability for our shared U.S. government customers. AAR is enthusiastic about bolstering our strategic military portfolio by expanding our Ontic relationship to include the Chatsworth facility," said Ross Wuestenfeld, Vice President of AAR's Distribution – Defense. "Ontic is a trusted provider of parts and services to the aviation aftermarket, and we look forward to enhancing these services to support the U.S. warfighter.

Read More