BETA Technologies unveils new eCTOL design

ALIA SN001 during a flight test at the flight testing facility in Plattsburgh, New York.
BETA Technologies

BETA Technologies has unveiled a new aircraft model that it expects will accelerate its certification and go-to-market process.  

The newly unveiled CX300 is an all-electric battery-powered aircraft based on Beta’s ALIA-250 eVTOL, but configured for conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL).  

The Vermont-based electric aircraft developer revealed that over the last couple of years, the CX300 has already flown 22,000 miles across several states, including a 386-mile run on a single battery charge between Jamestown, NY, and a test facility in Plattsburgh, also in NY state. The aircraft has also been tested and evaluated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and US Air Force and Army pilots. 

The development of the CX300 is taking place in parallel to that of the ALIA-250 eVTOL, with which it shares airframe, batteries, propulsion and systems. 

BETA Technologies began the type certification process last year under the FAA’s Part 23, and it expects the CX300 to be market-ready by 2025. 

Three companies have reportedly placed orders for the CX300: Air New Zealand (three aircraft plus 20 options), Bristow (50 eCTOL, which add to a separate order for five eVTOL ALIA-250 plus 55 options) and United Therapeutics, with an order for an undisclosed number of eCTOL aircraft, which it intends to use for organ and medical material transportation missions. 

The vertical take-off and landing and hovering stages of flight are known to be particularly energy-consuming and have proven to be one of the technical challenges all eVTOL developers face when trying to balance battery capacity, weight and range. 

BETA Technologies founder and CEO, Kyle Clark said: “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. With the eCTOL aircraft launch we have further de-risked our path to commercialization and concurrently provide lower cost, more utility and optionality to operators. This has given us the confidence to industrialize and invest heavily in production at scale over the last year.”  

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