Beta Technologies, a trailblazer in the electric aviation industry, has strategically opted to develop a fixed-wing electric aircraft instead of a conventional one, citing the absence of a well-defined regulatory framework. With its eyes set on the Air Taxi project, the US-based firm has spent years perfecting and testing this innovative electric aircraft, which will serve as the foundation for the forthcoming CX300.
The Road to Commercialization: Capitalizing on Established Certification Processes
Beta asserts that the certification process for traditionally-built aircraft is well defined, making it the most expeditious pathway towards commercializing all-electric flight. Moreover, industry experts highlight that such electric aircraft can take advantage of existing infrastructure, such as airports, and can seamlessly integrate into the current air traffic management system with minimal modifications.
Anticipating the CX300: Aiming for Type Certification in 2025
With the prototype already undergoing the FAA approval process, Beta is optimistic about obtaining type certification for the CX300 by 2025. The company eagerly anticipates delivering the first units to customers the same year. Air New Zealand, Bristow Group, and biotech firm United Therapeutics have already expressed their commitment to this groundbreaking aircraft.
A Testament to Innovation: The Conventional Prototype’s Impressive Track Record
The conventional prototype, which serves as the foundation for eVTOL development, boasts an impressive 40,700 kilometers of flight over the past few years. This includes long-haul flights connecting the company’s Vermont headquarters with destinations in Arkansas and Kentucky.
Unveiling the CX300: Inspired by the ALIA-250 eVTOL
Though Beta has not disclosed the technical specifications of the CX300, available images indicate that it will be modeled after the ALIA-250 eVTOL. The aircraft is projected to have a 15-meter wingspan and accommodate five passengers, in addition to the pilot. These features hint at its potential uses in regional passenger and cargo transport, as well as medical flights.
The Future of eVTOLs: Beta’s Continued Commitment
While the establishment of airworthiness certification specifications for eVTOLs and the deployment of necessary infrastructure and air traffic management systems may take time, Beta remains steadfast in its pursuit of eVTOL development. Alongside the CX300, the company is working on a fixed take-off and landing air taxi with a 465-kilometer range. The ALIA-250, equipped with one pusher propeller and four lifting propellers, is slated for type certification in 2026.
Source: Beta Technologies