Beta Technologies Is Looking to Build a Net-Zero Production Facility

Alia is the dragonfly-inspired electric aircraft that dazzled with its unusual design and impressive capabilities. The company that created it, Beta Technologies, is ready to move to the next phase and set up a net-zero final assembly production facility.
Beta to start manufacturing the Alia air taxi in Vermont 8 photos
Photo: Beta Technologies
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Beta Technologies got a $169 million loan from The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). EXIM described it as a "historic" loan, part of its Make More in America initiative that supports domestic manufacturing and innovative technologies.

Beta will use the funds mainly to start building a final assembly facility for the Alia aircraft, which is set to bring up to 400 jobs in Vermont, where the company is based. Beta did not officially announce the future location of its production plant or details about the planned production capacity.

Other eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) manufacturers in the US that are close to the finish line in terms of scaled production include Archer, who is building a large-scale factory in Covington, Georgia, and Joby, who will initially produce eVTOLs in Marina, California before moving to a bigger new facility in Dayton, Ohio.

Beta is headquartered in Vermont but also operates offices and hubs in various strategic locations, including New York, Quebec, and, most recently, Montreal.

In terms of achievements, the company claims to have completed the first eVTOL flight in the greater New York area. It was soon followed by the first air taxi flight in the actual city, completed by Joby.

The Alia aircraft also successfully carried out numerous other flights. The most notable one was an entire trip from Plattsburgh, New York, to Louisville, Kentucky, over a total of 870 miles (1,400 km). The trip was taken over the course of five days (with recharging stops included), and two pilots took turns operating the electric aircraft.

What makes Beta stand out among similar eVTOL makers is its focus on charging infrastructure. In just a couple of months, the manufacturer scored two industry firsts – the first-ever eVTOL charger installed at a US Air Force base and the first eVTOL charger in Massachusetts.

The Beta Technologies charging stations are now operating at the Eglin Air Force base in Florida and at the Marshfield Municipal Airport in Massachusetts (where it's available for aircraft and ground vehicles as well). In just three years, the company plans to install up to 150 charging stations across the country.

Alia is a five-seat (plus the pilot) air taxi with a special design that makes it look like a dragonfly. The design was actually inspired by a bird, the Arctic tern, which is known to be the only bird that flies over all the oceans and reaches almost every continent during its migration. Alia combines a 1,400 lbs (635 kg) payload with a 250-nautical mile (463 km) range.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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