Beta Technologies has landed a massive contract from the US Army to support the company’s flight test development and certification efforts.
Beta Technologies, the Vermont-based eVTOL firm, has been developing its Alia prototype in hopes to use a partnership with the Army to evaluate mission capability and requirements. Engineers from both organizations will now study range, altitude, endurance, and payload limitations.
Beta’s Alia currently sports a 250nm range and payload capacity to support a pilot and four passengers. Last year, it demonstrated a 205nm mission at altitudes up to 8,000 ft.
With this partnership both parties will benefit as the Army can test missions involving eVTOL aircraft while Beta will receive support accelerating its flight test program.
“This partnership with the Army marks another important step in the military’s commitment to advancing and adopting sustainable electric aviation solutions,” said Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark in a statement. “We’re gratified by the continued support of the sector, and this allows us to accelerate our development of Alia as an incredibly safe and reliable logistics aircraft for both military and civil applications.”
The partnership isn’t Beta Technologies’ first foray into the defense sector. In 2020, it joined the US Air Force’s AFWERX Agility Prime program which included designs from across the globe and a variety of institutions and firms.
Why it matters: Beta Technologies has secured another key partner in realizing its eVTOL vision. The Army joins the likes of UPS and BLADE Urban Air mobility who have also shown interest in Alia over the past several years. The company is aiming for aircraft certification in 2024 and entry into service shortly thereafter.