US air taxi developer Joby Aviation has agreed to deliver two aircraft to MacDill AFB in Florida next year as part of a newly extended partnership with the US AIr Force (USAF). 

Joby disclosed the deal on 19 March, adding that USAF personnel will test and train with its JAS4-1 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, including those with US Special Operations Command, Central Command, Air Mobility Command and various logistics-oriented units based at MacDill. 

“Joby will be working directly with DoD operational units for the first time, enabling units to carry out representative logistics missions and test use cases in personnel transport, casualty evacuation and support of security forces,” the developer says.

06_Joby Aviation_Aircraft

Source: Joby Aviation

Joby has committed to delivering two eVTOLs to MacDill AFB near Tampa in 2025

”Initial evaluations have demonstrated that the low maintenance requirements and operating costs, high speed, and low acoustic footprint of eVTOL aircraft like Joby’s can enable a diverse array of DoD use cases,” it adds. 

Joby has now committed four of its earliest electric air taxis to the US Air Force through its $131 million AFWERX Agility Prime contract with the service, which will see the company deliver up to nine aircraft. 

The Santa Cruz-based start-up delivered its first eVTOL to Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California in September. 

”The early investment and vision by the US government in this critical technology is proving foundational as we continue our path toward commercial passenger service,” says Joby chief executive JoeBen Bevirt. ”We’re looking forward to working with units at MacDill Air AFB as we further explore the potential use cases for our aircraft, demonstrating its capabilities in realistic settings.”

Joby’s piloted, four-passenger aircraft has received interest from the US Marine Corps and Army, in addition to the USAF. 

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued final airworthiness criteria for Joby’s aircaft, a first for the eVTOL segment. 

Additionally, the company recently completed the third part of the FAA’s five-stage type certification process and has launched a for-certification flight-testing programme.