SOUTH BURLINGTON – The BETA Technologies charger sits on the tarmac outside the company’s hangar at Burlington International Airport, where BETA continues to develop its electric aircraft ALIA.
Like BETA announced last week, it plans to build a 270,000 square foot production facility at another airport site that will employ up to 800 people when fully operational.
Founded in 2017, BETA recently exploded onto the scene with its zero-emission ALIA aircraft, gaining the attention of Amazon, UPS, and the US Air Force. The company this month closed a private funding round that raised $ 368 million and was joined by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund.
With its planes, BETA is also thinking in terms of the infrastructure needed to make ALIA a success. Once pilots, crews and passengers fly the ALIA, they’ll need a place to recharge the plane and themselves. This is where the charger 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 charging for passengers, pilot and crew in the pods below.
It will take 45-50 minutes to recharge the ALIA after driving 250 miles. People can take as long as they want.
The charger can be configured in different ways. The Pad at Burlington International Airport has pods that are like small apartments, with kitchenettes, bathrooms, bedrooms, and sitting areas. The Pad in Plattsburgh, New York, where BETA also has operations, has a large conference room.
As a company explains on his website, the charger includes a maintenance and repair workshop, battery energy storage and a generator. There is also a control center for the “mission briefing”.
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with the support of our readers.