BETA Technologies Develops Charging Pads for its Aircraft

The BETA Technologies Charging Pad sits on the tarmac outside of the company’s hangar at Burlington International Airport, where BETA continues to develop its ALIA electric aircraft.

As BETA announced, it is planning to build a 270,000-square-foot production facility on another site at the airport that will employ as many as 800 people when fully up and running.

Founded in 2017, BETA has lately exploded onto the scene with its zero-emissions ALIA aircraft, attracting the attention of Amazon, UPS and the U.S. Air Force. The company closed a private round of funding this month that raised $368 million, and was joined by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund.

Along with its aircraft, BETA is also thinking in terms of the infrastructure required to make the ALIA a success. Once pilots, crews and passengers are flying the ALIA, they’ll need a place to recharge both the aircraft and themselves. That’s where the Charging Pad comes in.

Resembling an open-air villa made of steel and shipping containers, the Pad offers fast charging on its roof — where the pilot will land the ALIA — and a recharge for passengers, pilot and crew in the pods below.

It will take 45 to 50 minutes to recharge the ALIA after flying 250 miles. The people can take as long as they like.

The Charging Pad can be configured in a variety of ways. The Pad at Burlington International Airport has pods that are like small apartments, with a kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and lounging area. The Pad in Plattsburgh, New York, where BETA also has operations, has a large conference room.

As the company explains on its website, the Charging Pad includes a maintenance and repair workshop, battery energy storage and a generator. There’s also a control center for “mission briefing.”

Source: Burlington Free Press

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