Blade Air Mobil­i­ty and BETA Tech­nolo­gies have com­plet­ed a test flight of BETA’s ALIA-250 eVTOL at the Westch­ester Coun­ty Air­port in White Plains, New York.

“This is a his­toric moment for Blade, New York and the urban air mobil­i­ty indus­try,” said Rob Wiesen­thal, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Blade.

“This demon­strates our tran­si­tion from heli­copters to eVTOL air­craft, and BETA has designed the right air­craft with the req­ui­site range, capac­i­ty, and noise pro­file. 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 founder and CEO Kyle Clark con­tin­ued: “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 fly real-life mis­sions and gain pro­fi­cien­cy in the nation­al air­space, being able to fly here from our flight test facil­i­ty in Platts­burgh to work with Blade to oper­a­tionalise our part­ner­ship.”

ALIA-250 is pow­ered by an all-elec­tric propul­sion sys­tem with a noise pro­file of one tenth of the sound deci­bel lev­el of con­ven­tion­al heli­copters, and can fly up to six peo­ple, fly­ing along­side a con­ven­tion­al heli­copter before pulling away for a sec­ond pass above the air­port to high­light the dra­mat­ic noise reduc­tion.

In April 2021, Blade agreed to pur­chase up to 20 ALIA-250 air­craft to deploy on routes between its net­work of ded­i­cat­ed ter­mi­nals in the US. BETA has also agreed to install charg­ing infra­struc­ture at cer­tain key loca­tions.

Over the past three years, BETA accom­plished sig­nif­i­cant mile­stones toward cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, with test pilots from the US Air Force and Army fly­ing the ALIA-250 in full-pat­tern eval­u­a­tions in March 2022 and July 2022.

BETA has also part­nered with the FAA and the Nation­al Insti­tute for Avi­a­tion Research to con­duct the first-ever 50-foot drop tests of its full-scale bat­tery packs, suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ing the test and advanc­ing the industry’s path to safe­ty stan­dards and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.