The U.S. Army DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center announced on its Twitter account that the first Army pilot completed the initial evaluation flight of the Beta’s Alia electric aircraft.
“A U.S. Army first: MAJ Wes Ogden completed his initial evaluation flight of the Beta Alia, the 1st Army aviator to fly an electric aircraft,” the сenter said in a Twitter post-Tuesday.
According to a tweet, the 1.6-hour flight included an assessment of performance & handling qualities in conventional (airplane) mode.
The flight test mission was intended to evaluate new technology being developed. The Army is partnering with the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force and powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX, and Beta company to share flight test data and understand mission opportunities for electric aircraft.
The Alia is an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed for performing critical cargo, military, and medical missions all while producing zero operational emissions.
As noted by the Vermont-based company, with a wingspan of 50 feet (15 meters) and recharge time of under an hour, the Alia aircraft is targeting a range of 250 nautical miles (288 miles or 463 kilometers) and a top speed of about 150 knots (173 miles per hour or 278 kilometers per hour).