All-Electric Aircraft by BETA Technologies Showcased

BETA Technologies displayed its newest all-electric airplane, ALIA CTOL, at Albany International Airport. The aircraft can carry five people and a pilot, and can stay in the air for up to two hours.

By Mrinal
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ALIA CTOL - an all-electric aircraft by BETA Technologies

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BETA Technologies, an electric aerospace company headquartered in the USA, put its newest all-electric airplane on display at Albany International Airport.

ALIA CTOL in action

The aircraft, named ALIA CTOL, is a small fixed-wing plane that can fly around 126 mph. The plane, smaller in size than a commercial one, can carry around five passengers and has a wingspan of 50 feet. This specific model has been designed by the company for short distance trips and the main purpose of it is said to be “to carry critical cargo or for medical emergencies”, especially in cases where helicopters or ambulances do not fit the need of the hour. Though the company did put it on display for a day, the plane, at its current stage, is being flight-tested and modifications to it are being done to make it commercial ready.

ALIA series contains two types of planes - ALIA CTOL & ALIA VTOL

The main attraction of the aircraft, along with being small and useful, is that it is run entirely on electricity and not fossil fuel, making its output zero emission and environment-friendly. The CEO of BETA Technologies, Blain Newton, claimed that these planes are climate-friendly, as they do not use any jet fuel, and are also cheaper to operate than their counterparts. The other benefits listed by him mentioned the aircraft being safer and more reliable to use as well as affordable flights for passengers as charging batteries for a one-sided flight will cost the company around $17 instead of its counterpart costing around $750 in fuel. “You essentially render the fuel costs irrelevant. (ALIA CTOL) just opens up new forms of travel that weren’t previously available.” The planes, so far, can stay in the air for around two hours, though the company is working on extending the time limit to around four hours.

Blain Newton, CEO, BETA Technologies

In the ALIA series, the company is currently working on two models – ALIA CTOL and ALIA VTOL. According to the company’s website, ALIA is “a design inspired by nature. It is a simple platform that enables new modes of transportation. The aircrafts are designed using the first principles of physics to fly in the safest, most efficient way possible. They utilise BETA’s patented electric propulsion systems and produce zero operational emissions. Both aircraft have an exceptionally aerodynamic form factor, a lightweight structure, and carry advanced energy-dense batteries. The aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan and will carry up to 5 people and a pilot.”

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