The U.S. Air Force’s industry storefront and innovation organization AFWERX, and its primary division partner, BETA Technologies, successfully landed the ALIA, an all-electric conventional take-off and landing aircraft, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland during a multi-stop flight from Vermont to Florida on October 18.
The Air Force said in a release that the collaboration between AFWERX and BETA Technologies focuses on advancing the development of advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for potential military applications. This partnership capitalizes on BETA’s expertise in eVTOL design and AFWERX’s extensive network to drive the creation of zero-emission aircraft tailored for military operations.
Jill Sanning, representing BETA Technologies, emphasized the significance of the ALIA’s presence at Andrews Air Force Base, stating, “JBA is a high-visibility area with people from the Pentagon, Congress, and government officials, so we really wanted to target this area to be able to showcase the aircraft, its capabilities, and to let people see all-electric aviation is possible. Demonstrating the ALIA is the goal for the road show we’re doing all the way down to Florida.”
The ALIA aircraft has accumulated an impressive record, having completed over three years of flight testing and covering 26,000 miles. It has undertaken multiple flights across the United States, supported by BETA’s proprietary recharging infrastructure.
Emma Davis, a BETA flight test engineer, offered a forward-looking perspective on electric aviation, stating, “I always put into perspective, if you look how far we’ve come in the last 120 years, it’s no flight to electric aviation. If you fast forward 100 years, I think electric aviation will be dominating the aeronautic industry.”
The ALIA aircraft’s journey underscores the promising future of electric aviation and its potential to revolutionize the aeronautics industry, offering environmentally friendly and innovative solutions for military and civilian applications.