Blade Air Mobility has announced the successful completion of a historic test flight of BETA’s ALIA-250 EVA (vertical electric aircraft) at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York.
The flight marks the first test of a piloted EVA in the greater New York City area and is a significant milestone in the companies’ continued partnership to bring safe, quiet, and sustainable air transportation to commuter and commercial customers.
Blade Air Mobility is a technology-powered air mobility platform and BETA Technologies (BETA), an electric aerospace company developing EVA (also known as eVTOL) and supporting charging infrastructure. Beta Technologies is the one who developed the Alia-250 aircraft powered by an all-electric propulsion system with vertical takeoff and landing capability. It has a noise profile that is 1/10th the sound decibel level of conventional helicopters, making it ideal for use in urban areas.
The aircraft can fly up to six people and features a sleek and modern design with a range of features to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort.
During the test flight, the ALIA-250 flew alongside a conventional helicopter before pulling away for a second pass above the airport to highlight the dramatic noise reduction.
It’s been two years since it first committed to purchasing up to 20 BETA’s first passenger-configured ALIA-250 aircraft by its network of operators. Blade intends to deploy these initial aircraft on routes between its network of dedicated terminals in the U.S. BETA has also agreed to provide and install charging infrastructure at certain key locations.
Over the past three years, BETA has demonstrated reliably strong performance with its two full-scale prototype aircraft, accomplishing significant milestones toward certification and commercialization. BETA also had test pilots from the U.S. Air Force and Army flies the ALIA-250 in full-pattern evaluations in March 2022 and July 2022, respectively.
BETA has also partnered with the FAA and the National Institute for Aviation Research to conduct the first-ever 50-foot drop tests of its full-scale battery packs, successfully completing the test and advancing the industry’s path to safety standards and certification.