Beta Technologies, the South Burlington, Vermont company known for its ALIA-250 eVTOL test aircraft, revealed that it also is developing a second electric-powered aircraft called the CX300.
The company calls the CX300 an “eCTOL,” or electric conventional takeoff and landing aircraft. It resembles an ALIA-250 without rotors for vertical flight. Beta said that for years it has been testing two versions of its prototype aircraft, one for hovering flight and the other for wing borne cruise flight. This arrangement allowed the company to gather a broad range of performance data quickly.
The airframe, batteries, propulsion, and other systems used in the CX300 will be the same as those of the ALIA-250, which is already moving through the FAA certification process, the company said.
Beta said its eCTOL test aircraft has reached a number of milestones during development flights, including covering a total distance of more than 22,000 miles and completing evaluation flights with test pilots from the FAA, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army. The aircraft also made a flight of more than 386 miles from Jamestown, New York, to the company’s test facility in Plattsburgh, New York.
Beta said it designed the eCTOL and eVTOL test aircraft “to fulfill essential missions for its customers, optimizing payload and range to enable short-haul and regional operations with zero operational emissions and much lower operational costs.” Expected customers include cargo, medical, defense, and passenger operators. The company said new and existing customers have placed orders for the eCTOL aircraft.
“We have been flying our eCTOL prototype airport-to-airport for a few years now to drive technological advancements in propulsion and systems, and now we’re seeing that there is a clear market for this product in addition to our eVTOL aircraft,” said Beta’s founder and CEO, Kyle Clark.
Beta said it applied for type certification of the CX300 with the FAA last year and is planning to complete certification and begin delivering aircraft in 2025.
“We continue to progress our ALIA eVTOL design through certification, in harmony with the eCTOL program. The two aircraft are common in their design, allowing us to economize validation of our high performance solutions,” Clark said.
The company said Air New Zealand, biotech company United Therapeutics, and Bristow, a provider of vertical flight services, are among its customers for the CX300. Beta said it is nearing completion of its final assembly facility in Vermont and expects to begin manufacturing of aircraft this summer.