November 7, 2023
Two leading electric aerial vehicles (EAV) companies are teaming to accelerate the rollout of fast-charging electric systems for flying vehicles.
The Beta charging systems are already in use at 14 locations across the eastern U.S. with development underway at 55 more locations.
Archer uses two of the Beta Charge Cube systems at its flight test facilities and now plans to rapidly deploy more as needed.
“Fast charging is critical to ensure rapid turnaround times between flights,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer founder and CEO. “A widespread, fast charging system is critical to ensuring electric air taxis reach scale in the coming years and this collaboration between two industry leaders is an exciting step towards achieving that.”
Electric charging stations are needed for Archer to scale its eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle business.
“Over the past decade, transportation has shifted toward electric and now we’re seeing resonance and viability for aviation to do the same,” said Kyle Clark, Beta founder and CEO. “A backbone of reliable, fast and accessible infrastructure will be critical to enabling this technology, which is why we’ve been focused on building out a charging network alongside our aircraft for some time now. When we designed our chargers, we saw an opportunity to support the entire sector by using an already peer-reviewed standard, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with Archer now to validate that aim.”
Beta Technologies recently landed its piloted EAV at the Florida Air Force base after a series of flights starting in Burlington, Vermont, where the company is located.
The Beta Alia aircraft is scheduled to stay at Elgin for several months for the Air Force for hands-on experimentation and training with the technology.
Beta has partnered with AFWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Air Force that leverages the Air Force Research Laboratory for this program.
Beta makes both an eVTOL aircraft and an eCTOL (electric conventional takeoff and landing) craft.
The company recently installed the first charging station for EAVs at Raleigh Executive Jetport in North Carolina.
The Beta chargers are multimodal, meaning they can charge electric aircraft as well as electric cars and trucks at the airport. Beta’s electric charger can charge an electric aircraft in less than an hour, according to the company.
Beta’s eCTOL aircraft is planned for service in 2025 with its vertical takeoff version in service the following year.
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.
Many 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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