Since its inception in 2020, Beta Technologies has been a frontrunner in the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) arena, challenging the realm of renderings and prototypes with tangible progress. Now, the company has reached a significant milestone, marking a groundbreaking achievement in eVTOL history by completing the first successful transition from vertical takeoff to wing-borne cruising, with a pilot on board.

In a captivating video demonstration, Beta test pilot Nate Moyer guided the Alia-250 from New York’s Plattsburgh International Airport, initiating a seamless ascent powered by four horizontal electric propellers. As the aircraft ascended, the rear propeller engaged, propelling it forward until the wing assumed control, enabling a short cruise flight. Subsequently, the Alia-250 smoothly transitioned back to vertical mode for landing, showcasing its versatility and operational capability.

This transition marks a pivotal advancement in eVTOL aircraft development, with Beta Technologies pioneering this feat. While other industry players have conducted unmanned or piloted tests, none have executed a transition test with a pilot until now. Beta’s Alia-250, inspired by the Arctic tern, boasts a 50-foot wingspan and an electric propulsion system powered by high-density lithium batteries, offering a range of 250 miles and a top speed of 138 mph.

Beta Technologies aims to secure FAA type certification for the Alia-250 by 2026, positioning itself as a key player in the emerging eVTOL market. The company plans to offer both passenger air taxi and cargo variants, catering to diverse transportation needs. Additionally, Beta has prioritized charging infrastructure development, introducing the Charge Cube—a modular charging system capable of rapidly charging the Alia-250 in as little as 50 minutes at 350 kW.

This milestone achievement underscores Beta Technologies’ commitment to revolutionizing urban air mobility and signifies a significant stride toward realizing the vision of sustainable, efficient aerial transportation. Congratulations to the Beta team on this historic moment in eVTOL aviation!

By Impact Lab