AFWERX Airmen and several local media outlets gathered recently to witness one of the quietest Air Force aircraft flyovers ever. This was made possible by the partnership between BETA Technologies, an electric aerospace company and AFWERX Prime division partner.
The partnership made several low passes in its ALIA electric aircraft as the audience celebrated its delivery to the Air Force Oct. 26, 2023.
The event brought with it, cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the Air Force.
The photo above shows the BETA ALIA arrival…
This partnership also include other electric aircraft companies who are constantly in search of means to bring zero-emission aviation to the military along with other benefits, which include a quiet noise profile and the cost savings to operate and maintain fleet without dependency on traditional fossil fuels.
Col. Elliott Leigh, AFWERX director and chief commercialization officer for the Department of the Air Force made the following observation:
“We are really excited about companies like BETA when they invent things like this. It is going to transform the way we see air travel in the world, but it is also going to transform the way we have air power in the Air Force. We’re going to learn what we can do with vehicles like this and we’re going to take it to our warfighters.”
As you can see in the photo, BETA’s ALIA electric aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan, a range of 250 miles with a top speed of 138 mph and is 90% quieter than a helicopter.
It has the capability to transport five passengers. However, the Air Force test objective is to demonstrate its potential to support agile combat employment logistics with its payload capacity of 1,000 pounds.
Duke Field was strategically selected as the test field for ALIA. It is located 10 miles north of Eglin. The field is home to the Air Force’s rotary wing test squadron, the 413th Flight Test Squadron.