Taking another step towards a sustainable future, Blade and BETA have recently completed a successful test flight for eVTOL, (electric Vertical Take-Off & Landing air taxi). The test flight, ALIA-250, took off from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York.
Although BETA technologies announced ALIA in 2020, they collaborated with Blade Air Mobility in 2021. The latter will be purchasing around 20 passenger ALIA-250 eVTOLs from BETA to replace its helicopter services between New York JFK and Manhattan. This will not just be a quick but also a quiet and eco-friendly mode of transportation.
The eVTOLs are powered by a distributed direct-drive electric propulsion that has a range of 250 nautical miles and a charging time of approximately 50 minutes. Blade and BETA plan to offer two versions of eVTOL, one for passengers and the other for transporting cargo.
How will it Contribute towards a Sustainable Future?
eVTOL, the first electric air taxi will be an excellent alternative to the noisy helicopters. It is believed to produce around one-tenth noise of a traditional helicopter due to its complete electric propulsion system. These will also significantly help reduce the air pollution around greater New York.
What Inspired the Design of the First Electric Air Taxi?
The first electric air taxi, ALIA was carefully designed keeping in mind the aerodynamics of Arctic Tern. The bird’s tail configuration and wing stance were a great baseline that is believed to have supported seamless flights for longer durations.
Delta Air Lines also announced a similar sustainable shuttle solution in partnership with Joby Aviation in October last year; but they called it an electric aircraft.
With innovations in technology, travel is not just being more convenient and time-efficient but also eco-friendly. What do you think of the first electric air taxi? Will people traveling to New York through international flights prefer using an electric air taxi? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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