skip to Main Content

Joby Aviation electric aircraft contract with US DoD now worth US$131 million

Joby Aviation will deliver its first two of nine electrically powered aircraft to the US Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base by early 2024. The news follows four USAF test pilots’ flights in a Joby aircraft, becoming the first military pilots to fly the entire flight envelope as sole pilot in command of an eVTOL.

Meanwhile, the company has announced the third extension of its Agility Prime contract with the USAF. The US$55 million contract extension brings the total potential value of Joby’s current contract with the Air Force up to US$131 million (AUD$198 million) and underlines the U.S. government’s continued commitment to this new sector.

As part of the agreement, Joby will deliver and operate up to nine of its five-seat, low-noise, zero operating emissions aircraft, providing the Air Force and other federal agencies with firsthand experience of the performance of Joby’s aircraft and its potential applications.

The first two aircraft will be used to demonstrate a range of potential logistics use cases, including cargo and passenger transportation. In doing so, they are expected to become the first electric air taxis to be stationed at a U.S. military base.

The announcement came after four Air Force pilots, hosted by Joby at its manufacturing facility in Marina, California, became the first Air Force personnel to fly an eVTOL as sole pilot-in-command through the full flight envelope, including transition from vertical to wingborne flight. The flights, which were piloted remotely from the ground, came following completion of classroom-based and simulator training and are part of the Air Force’s comprehensive approach to studying eVTOL aircraft and their potential future role.

“The Agility Prime program is a remarkably successful example of how public-private partnerships can deliver trailblazing technology at speed,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby.

“As well as allowing us to explore the wide range of potential use cases across the U.S. government, our defense partners have also provided us with high-impact support as we prepare for commercial operations in 2025,” he added.

“This next step of getting Air Force pilots trained and operating Joby aircraft at an Air Force installation is an incredibly important milestone for the program, providing key insights to actual operations and use case validation for Advanced Air Mobility aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Tom Meagher, AFWERX Prime Lead. “Additionally, the Joby operations provide an outstanding opportunity for accelerated learning with the other Department of Defense services and government agencies, including NASA and the FAA.”

Joby’s partnership with the Department of Defense began more than five years ago and provides the company with access to testing facilities, early operational experience for government customers, as well as a partial offset to its research and development costs. Since the Agility Prime program was established in 2020, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have all expressed active interest in the capabilities of eVTOL aircraft, with Joby announcing in August 2022 that the Marine Corps would participate in government-directed flight tests and use case exploration, including resupply, personnel transport, and emergency medical response applications.

Back To Top