by Tiana May
16 Feb 2023
Blade Air Mobility and BETA Technologies have completed a test flight of BETA’s ALIA-250 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York.
This marks the first test of a piloted eVTOL in the greater New York City area and is a significant milestone in the companies’ stated goal to provide “safe, quiet and sustainable air transportation”.
“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 homebase of New York City. We are confident eVTOLs will be a game-changer both for our company and New York City’s transportation system once certified by the FAA.”
BETA’s ALIA-250 aircraft can transport up to six people and is powered by an all-electric propulsion system. The vehicle has vertical takeoff and landing capability, but its noise profile is 1/10th the sound decibel level of a conventional helicopter.
In April 2021, Blade announced an agreement for the purchase of up to 20 of these eVTOL aircraft for use in its US network.
BETA will also provide and install charging infrastructure at key locations to support Blade’s operations.
“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.”
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