Two Joby eVTOLs Will Land at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida

Two more Joby eVTOLs will be delivered to a USAF base in 2025 8 photos
Photo: Joby
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The DoD (US Department of Defense) is looking at multiple options and opportunities in the eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) market, but the Californian aircraft maker Joby has already secured a top position for the military use of its air taxi.
The Joby aircraft became the first electric air taxis to be stationed at a US Air Force base. The first one made its way to Edwards Air Force Base in California in the fall of last year, and the second one is due to arrive at the same location later this year. Two more aircraft will follow at a different USAF Base.

Joby confirmed that the next two units will be delivered to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, the headquarters of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and the US Central Command (CENTCOM). It's a strategic location for Joby, where it's set to work directly with DoD operational units for the first time. In other words, the extensive testing carried out at Edwards AFB will serve as a stepping stone for entering the operational phase at MacDill.

The two aircraft that will make MacDill AFB their home starting in 2025 won't be the last ones delivered to a military center. They're part of a bigger Agility Prime contract through which Joby committed to send a total of nine aircraft to USAF and other federal agencies.

Joby's partnership with the DoD is one of the most extensive in the industry. It started in 2016 when the Californian startup gained official access to early funding and test ranges. Four years later, Joby secured the military airworthiness approval for its pre-production prototype aircraft, which was a first in the eVTOL industry at the time. In 2023, the first Joby aircraft was officially delivered to a USAF base.

All in all, Joby's continued partnership with the DoD amounted to more than $160 million, making it the largest in the industry.

Training is another important aspect of this collaboration. Joby isn't only delivering electric aircraft but also welcoming military personnel at its headquarters for specialized training. So far, its flight test facility in Marina, California, has welcomed personnel from the USAF, the Marine Corps, and the Army, as well as program managers.

What makes this Californian eVTOL particularly interesting for the USAF? Some of it has to do with this aircraft's technical performance – high speed and a low acoustic footprint (much less noisy than a conventional helicopter), and a lot has to do with the financial benefits of an air vehicle that's cheaper to operate and maintain.

On the other hand, the Californian air taxi maker is also gearing up for large-scale commercial production. The new manufacturing center in Dayton, Ohio, will boast an increased capacity of up to 500 units per year.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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