Electric aerospace company BETA Technologies and Blade Air Mobility have completed the flight trial of BETA’s ALIA-250 Electric Vertical Aircraft (EVA or eVTOL ) in New York.
Carried out at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, this test marks the first piloted eVTOL trial in the greater New York City region.
Equipped with an all-electric propulsion system having vertical takeoff and landing capability, the aircraft can accommodate up to six passengers.
The carrier’s noise profile is a tenth of a conventional helicopter’s sound decibel level.
Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal said: “This is a historic moment for Blade, New York and the urban air mobility industry.”
“This demonstration is a big milestone in our transition from helicopters to electric vertical aircraft, and we are pleased that our partners at BETA have designed the right aircraft with the requisite range, capacity, and noise profile, for use in our key markets, including our home base of New York City.
“We are confident EVAs will be a game-changer both for our company and New York City’s transportation system once certified by the FAA.”
The two firms hail the successful test as a ‘significant milestone’ in making green and quiet air travel a reality.
Blade reached an agreement in April 2021 to support the procurement of up to 20 of BETA’s first passenger-configured ALIA-250 aircraft by its network of operators.
It plans to operate the EVAs on routes between its network of dedicated terminals in the US.
Additionally, BETA agreed to supply and install charging infrastructure at some key locations.
BETA founder and CEO Kyle Clark said: “Blade is flying passengers in key urban markets all over the world, and this flight is another step toward delivering our electric aircraft to support those operations.
“We continue to progress our aircraft, flying real-life missions and gaining proficiency in the national airspace. We were glad to be able to fly here from our flight test facility in Plattsburgh to work with Blade to operationalise our partnership.”