Eglin, FL- BETA Technologies, a Burlington-based all-electric aircraft company, has made their first delivery to a contracted partner marking a major milestone for the company.
BETA’s ALIA CTOL, which stands for conventional takeoff and landing, aircraft landed at Duke Field, a branch of Eglin Air Force Base, on Thurs. The arrival is the culmination of a journey that covered more than 2,000 miles and flew over 12 states. ALIA took off from Burlington on Oct. 10 and stopped at 20 airports and Air Force bases along the way for charging.
ALIA’s longest leg was 160 miles from Syracuse, NY to Pittsfield, MA, a trip that lasted 1 hour and 13 minutes. The company claims ALIA has flown up to 386 miles on a single charge in what they believe to be the longest flight of an electrical aircraft.
Along the way, the aircraft stopped at Joint Base Andrews, becoming the first electric aircraft to land there.
The aircraft will stay at Duke Field for several months to work with the 413th Squadron of the Air Force, including testing and training. A mobile simulator was also delivered to Duke Field to train Air Force pilots on flying the aircraft.
A team of five pilots manned the aircraft during the many flights between Burlington and Duke Field, including a former and a current USAF pilot, two commercial pilots, and BETA CEO Kyle Clark.
In a statement on the milestone, Clark said, “We look forward to working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Air Force over the next few months as we work together to assess how the economic, sustainability, and energy independence benefits of electric aviation can serve our military. In addition to the milestone of delivering an asset to our partners, this mission has been an invaluable opportunity to fly our electric aircraft down the east coast into the communities this technology, and our operators, will ultimately serve.”
As BETA continues to strive towards FAA certification they expect their airplanes to officially enter into service in 2025 for the conventional takeoff and landing, and in 2026 for their vertical takeoff and landing model.
In early Oct., the company opened the doors to its 188,500-square-foot production facility in South Burlington, VT.