Beta Technologies announced recently that they will enhance their focus on the development and certification of a conventional configuration electric aircraft. Beta is labeling the configuration as an eCTOL aircraft (electric conventional takeoff/landing).
The company has been flight testing a conventional fixed-wing version of its eVTOL prototype, which will now become the company’s certification candidate. The aircraft, called CX300, will generate lift from its wings rather than lifting propellers and has already generated orders from the cargo, medical, and defense sectors.
“We continue to progress our ALIA eVTOL design through certification, in harmony with the eCTOL program,” BETA Technologies Founder and CEO Kyle Clark said. “The two aircraft are common in their design, allowing us to economize validation of our high-performance solutions. With the eCTOL aircraft launch, we have further de-risked our path to commercialization and concurrently provide lower cost, more utility, and optionality to operators. This has given us the confidence to industrialize and invest heavily in production at scale over the last year.”
Beta intends to have the CX300 fully certified and ready for delivery by 2025. The company will continue development and certification efforts of its ALIA-250 eVTOL which will be closely based on the design of the CX300.
The company states that manufacturing will begin at the new South Burlington production facility this summer.
Why it matters: Amid regulatory churn and uncertainty over the future market demand and infrastructure required to support the eVTOL space, manufacturers like Beta are taking a middle ground on the innovation curve. By maintaining a conventional fixed wing configuration, operators can take fully advantage of the cost savings from the implantation of an electric aircraft for commercialization, while developers still pursue eVTOL models simultaneously. With planned certification only two years away, Beta has provided itself with a new road to market entry.
Source // Beta Technologies