The ALIA-250 aircraft is powered by an all-electric propulsion system and has vertical takeoff and landing capability. It has a noise profile that is 1/10th the sound decibel level of conventional helicopters, making it ideal for use in urban areas. The aircraft can fly up to six people and features a sleek and modern design with a range of features to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort.
Blade Air Mobility
Blade Air Mobility, an air mobility platform committed to reducing travel friction, aims to deploy BETA’s passenger-configured ALIA-250 aircraft on routes between its network of dedicated terminals in the US.
BETA Technologies, on the other hand, is an electric aerospace company building an electric transportation system that includes net-zero, all-electric aircraft and cross-country charging infrastructure.
“We continue to progress our aircraft, flying real-life missions and gaining proficiency in the national airspace. We were glad to be able to fly here from our flight test facility in Plattsburgh to work with Blade to operationalize our partnership,” said Kyle Clark, BETA’s Founder and CEO.
Testing electric aircraft
The successful demonstration flight is an important step in the partnership between Blade and BETA to enable the rapid introduction of electric aircraft into Blade’s New York City and Short Distance businesses. The companies have agreed to facilitate the purchase of up to 20 of BETA’s ALIA-250 aircraft, with BETA also providing and installing charging infrastructure.
Over the past three years, BETA has demonstrated reliably strong performance with its two full-scale prototype aircraft, accomplishing significant milestones toward certification and commercialization. BETA also had test pilots from the U.S. Air Force and Army fly the ALIA-250 in full-pattern evaluations in March 2022 and July 2022, respectively, marking the branches’ first-ever flight of an electric vertical aircraft and the industry’s first manned qualitative evaluations.
“This is a big milestone in our transition from helicopters to electric vertical aircraft, and we are pleased that our partners at BETA have designed the right aircraft with the requisite range, capacity, and noise profile, for use in our key markets, including our home base of New York City,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Executive Officer of Blade.