On Monday, May 30th, Beta Technologies’ all-electric Alia aircraft completed a 1,400-mile journey from Plattsburgh International Airport in eastern New York to Bentonville, Arkansas, making only seven charging stops along the way.
The full 1,400 mile journey of the Alia, which is an all-electric, VTOL aircraft capable of carrying four passengers plus a pilot, took place over seven days. Each approximate 200-mile leg of the journey was completed per day, with the aircraft using fixed wing mode to take-off and land. According to Beta’s CEO Kyle Clark, this journey was meant to prove that that the Alia can be used for more than just local flights, with the ability to repeatedly complete regional flights between major cities as well.
With regard to this series of flights, CEO Kyle Clark said, “I think that with this type of flight, at a very high level, we change the image of what electric aviation is. It’s not an aircraft that’s hopping within a city; it’s not flying test flights around a range, unmanned; it’s you put a couple pilots in it, you put some cargo in it, and you go halfway across the country.”
Clark also mentioned that since the initial use case envisioned for the Alia will be cargo flights of about 150 miles each, these consecutive flights prove that the Alia can reliably make such journeys repeatedly.
Beta Tehchlogie’s Alia plugged into an electric vehicle charger in Springfield, Ohio
Why it’s important: While these seven flights of Beta Technologies’ Alia aircraft did not utilize the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of the aircraft, they were consecutive, with one high-range flight taking place each day, proving the reliability and range capabilities of the all-electric aircraft. Once the Beta Alia begins making these longer flights while also utilizing its vertical take-off and landing feature, Beta will have fully proven out the immense capabilities and potential of this aircraft.