Blade Air Mobility’s Electric Vertical Aircraft: The Future of Air Transportation in New York City

February 16, 2023
1 min read
Source - Beta Technologies

Blade Air Mobility, a helicopter transportation company that caters to New York’s elite, recently tested its new electric vertical aircraft (EVA) at Westchester County Airport. The all-electric aircraft, manufactured by BETA Technologies, is almost completely silent and boasts a futuristic design that combines that of a small plane and a helicopter. Due to the growing concern over the noise pollution from helicopters in New York, the EVA’s low sound decibel level of 1/10th of that of a conventional helicopter will likely be welcomed by residents. Blade Air Mobility and BETA Technologies hope their quiet, electric aircraft will encourage other companies to adopt similar technology. The flight is a significant milestone in the companies’ continued partnership to bring safe, quiet, and sustainable air transportation to commuter and commercial customers.

Transitioning From Helicopters To Electric Vertical Aircraft

“The demonstration represents a key first step in our transition from helicopters to new quiet and emission-free aircraft,” said Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal, who called the flight a “historic moment” for aviation in the city. Blade aims to have the EVA ready to carry passengers by 2026, and BETA targets Federal Aviation Administration approval in 2024. The successful flight marks the first time a piloted electric vertical aircraft has been tested in the tri-state area, and RedBird Capital, a firm founded by Goldman Sachs alum Gerry Cardinale, has acquired a 5% stake in Blade.

The ALIA-250 EVA

The ALIA-250 aircraft flown during the test is powered by an all-electric propulsion system with vertical takeoff and landing capability. It can fly up to six people and features a modern design with a range of features to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort. The noise profile is 1/10th the sound decibel level of conventional helicopters, making it ideal for use in urban areas.

Source – Beta Technologies

Securing Regulatory Approvals

For the dream of replacing helicopters with electric vertical aircraft to become a reality, Blade and BETA must secure regulatory approvals as well as establish infrastructure to charge and load the craft. While Blade is not the only company looking to transition from helicopters to electric vertical aircraft, the company’s existing helicopter service gives it a leg up on the competition.

The Bottom Line

The flight is a significant step forward for the urban air mobility industry, and Blade and BETA believe the quiet, electric aircraft will be a game-changer for their company and the transportation system in New York City. In April 2021, Blade announced an agreement to facilitate the purchase of up to 20 of BETA’s first passenger-configured ALIA-250 aircraft by its network of operators. BETA has also agreed to provide and install charging infrastructure at certain key locations. While Blade and BETA are up against several competitors with similar aspirations, the successful test flight is a milestone in their continued partnership to provide sustainable and quiet air transportation to their customers.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Bill Gates Warns of Growing Bioterrorism Threat: How the World Must Prepare

Next Story

The Solar Storm: The Consequences of the Recent X1.1-class Solar Flare and Radio Blackouts to Auroras

Latest from Mobility

Don't Miss