NEW YORK — Society may be getting one step closer to the flying commuter vehicles made famous in the animated series The Jetsons, as Ohio just announced that hundreds of flying taxis will be built at a facility in the state.
The company Joby Aviation Inc. was selected to build an electric air taxi manufacturing site at Dayton International Airport, Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development director Lydia Mihalik, and JobsOhio President & CEO J.P. Nauseef announced on Monday.
"Ohio’s legacy in aviation leadership begins with the Wright Brothers and continues now with Joby Aviation, as they launch a new era in advanced aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton,” DeWine said in a press release.
Officials said the site facility "will build, test and fly all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis that will predominantly be used for commercial passenger operations."
The electric air taxi will be intended to carry a pilot and four passengers, and reach speeds of up to 200 mph over a range of 100 miles, officials said.
Joby plans to invest at least $477.5 million and manufacture up to 500 vehicles a year, according to officials. The manufacturing is set to open in 2025, with construction scheduled to begin next year.
"Ohio has a long, rich history in aviation, and we’re proud to bring the next chapter of that story to life in the place where it all started. As one of the top states in the country for aviation manufacturing and innovation, Ohio will play an important role in the future of our industry, and we’re looking forward to growing our team here,” JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said.
Officials said the project will bring 2,000 jobs to the area.
The Federal Aviation Administration granted Joby Aviation a Special Airworthiness Certificate in June, allowing the company to begin test flying the prototype of its eVTOL aircraft.
Last year, Delta Air Lines announced a partnership with Joby for a "first-of-its-kind arrangement" to provide customers in New York and Los Angeles a "home-to-airport transportation service" using an eVTOL aircraft.
Toyota worked with Joby designing and launching the company's pilot production line in California. The company will advise Joby as it begins to manufacture the air tax in Ohio, Joby announced.
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