The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has entered into an expansive partnership with BETA Technologies to install the first ever electric aircraft charging station at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Initiated in 2020, this partnership has been instrumental in expediting the adoption of electric aviation within both the United States military and the broader commercial aviation sector. An illustrious milestone in this journey saw BETA Technologies being recognized as the foremost electric aircraft developer to secure an airworthiness certificate for manned flight from the military. Furthermore, they have conducted the sole piloted qualitative evaluation flights, featuring esteemed test pilots from the United States Air Force and Army.

This partnership, dedicated to evaluating the feasible mission capabilities and broad applicability of BETA’s electric aircraft and chargers, is set to persist with the forthcoming introduction of BETA’s ALIA aircraft to Eglin Air Force Base this autumn. Notably, BETA’s versatile and intermodal electric charger has demonstrated the remarkable capacity to recharge an electric aircraft in under an hour.

BETA originally was in pursuit of developing its eVTOL aircraft version, but recently decided to also certify a CTOL version, Alia, which will be delivered to Elgin Air Force Base. Meanwhile other eVTOL companies including Joby and Archer have also committed to delivering their respective air taxis to other Air Force bases near the end of 2023 or early 2024.


Bearing conformity to the established standards jointly agreed upon by a substantial segment of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry, as delineated in the recent ‘Interoperability of Electric Charging Infrastructure’ whitepaper by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), BETA’s chargers exhibit the versatility to support an array of electric aircraft while also accommodating ground electric vehicles.

USAF Buys Charger To Support Beta eCTOL Flight Testing | Aviation Week  Network

“The DoD, and specifically AFWERX’s Agility Prime team, have been invaluable partners to us for the past several years, offering deep insights that have helped us continue to progress our technology,” said Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark. “The installation of this charger is an enabling step as the DOD looks to transition to a more sustainable fleet. We look forward to using it to charge our aircraft later this year during planned on-base experimentation with the Air Force at Duke Airfield.”

“Charging station installation is a critical step to unleash test and experimentation with the DoD to leverage emerging electric aviation technology as a capability for the warfighter,” said Maj Anthony Zartman, Agility Prime’s program manager and team lead. “Two charging test sites will be set up by the end of the calendar year, marking the first multimodal charging capabilities for the Air Force. Further, the charging stations will provide an opportunity to explore the utility of electric vehicle fleet modernization as well as base and flight line support equipment to improve energy use and reduce emissions.”

Why it’s important: This pioneering Level 3 DC fast-charging facility is poised to provide essential support for on-site electric vehicle experimentation, signifying the latest advancement in the enduring collaboration between BETA Technologies and the DoD through its esteemed AFWERX Agility Prime Program.

Posted by Naish Gaubatz