September 29, 2023
An electric aerial vehicle (EAV) was flown from New York to Montreal this week, crossing international borders.
The flight by Beta Technologies, an electric aircraft developer in Burlington, Vermont, took off from Plattsburgh International Airport in New York and landed at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport 30 minutes later.
Beta makes both an eVTOL (electric vertical and takeoff) aircraft and an eCTOL (electric conventional takeoff and landing) craft.
The test flight, with a pilot and flight test engineer on board, was in the battery-powered Alia CTOL.
“It’s exciting to have this opportunity to fly our all-electric aircraft into one of the busiest airports in one of the top aerospace capitals of the world,” said Kyle Clark, Beta founder and CEO. “Our aircraft design is being developed by a collaborative, cross-border team of talented engineers, many of whom are based right here at our growing hub in Montréal. Quebec’s focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality matches ours at Beta.”
Beta recently installed aircraft electric charging stations at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida to service the coming test of electric flying vehicles there.
Beta’s eCTOL aircraft is planned for service in 2025 with its vertical version in service the following year, with delivery and testing to Eglin within the next few months.
A large number of EAVs are eVTOLs, which do not require traditional runways, since they take off and land straight up and down.
Vertiport facilities to manage the takeoff, landing, charging and maintenance of such vehicles are being established globally by companies including Volatus Infrastructure and Aeroauto Vertiport Development, which also has retail showrooms for flying vehicle sales in Florida.
A Department of Defense (DoD) research center partnered with Beta starting in 2020 to develop electric aviation in the U.S. military market. Beta received an airworthiness certificate for manned flight from the military, with military test pilots flying the vehicles.
Beta Technologies’ electric charger can charge an electric aircraft in less than an hour, according to the company.
Numerous other electric flying vehicle companies are interacting with the U.S. military, which continues to show keen interest in electric flying vehicles with various capabilities.
Countless EAVs are under development, ranging from those in the ultralight category, which do not require a pilot license to fly, to air taxis. Major airlines including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines all have placed orders or pre-orders for electric aerial vehicles.
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