Columbus (US), September 18
The same Ohio river valley where the Wright brothers pioneered human flight will soon be manufacturing cutting-edge electric planes that take off and land vertically, under an agreement announced Monday between the state and Joby Aviation Inc.
“When you're talking about air taxis, that's the future,” Republican Gov. Mike DeWine told The Associated Press.
“We find this very, very exciting — not only for the direct jobs and indirect jobs it's going to create, but like Intel, it's a signal to people that Ohio is looking to the future. This is a big deal for us.”
Around the world, electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL aircraft are entering the mainstream, though questions remain about noise levels and charging demands.
Still, developers say the planes are nearing the day when they will provide a wide-scale alternative to shuttle individual people or small groups from rooftops and parking garages to their destinations, while avoiding the congested thoroughfares below.
Joby’s decision to locate its first scaled manufacturing facility at a 140-acre (57-hectar) site at Dayton International Airport delivers on two decades of groundwork laid by the state’s leaders, Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
Importantly, the site is near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the headquarters of the US Air Force Research Laboratories.
“For a hundred years, the Dayton area has been a leader in aviation innovation,” Husted said.
“But capturing a large-scale manufacturer of aircraft has always eluded the local economy there. With this announcement, that aspiration has been realised.”
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, lived and worked in Dayton. In 1910, they opened the first US airplane factory there.
To connect the historical dots, Joby’s formal announcement Monday will take place at Orville Wright’s home, Hawthorn Hill, and conclude with a ceremonial flypast of a replica of the Wright Model B Flyer.
Joby’s production aircraft is designed to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles (321.87 kilometres) per hour, with a maximum range of 100 miles (160.93 kilometres).
Its quiet noise profile is barely audible against the backdrop of most cities, the company said. The plan is to place them in aerial ridesharing networks beginning in 2025.
The efforts of the Santa Cruz, California-based company are supported by partnerships with Toyota, Delta Airlines, Intel and Uber.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Preliminary enquiry is the first step to ascertain if the al...
19 police stations in Imphal valley kept out of purview
The minister's comments come against the backdrop of the US ...
Credible evidence of India's involvement in killing of Sikh separatist, says Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh
Describing the allegations levelled by Justin Trudeau agains...
Terrorist-gangster nexus: NIA raids 53 locations across 6 states, including Punjab and Haryana; detain several suspects
Pistols, ammunition, digital devices and incriminating mater...