BETA Technologies has completed the first fully-electric aircraft flight into Montréal.
The Vermont-based electric aircraft OEM landed its Alia CTOL aircraft at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. The flight, which began 64 miles away at BETA’s flight test centre based at Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG) in New York, lasted about 30 minutes.
According to BETA this is the first time the all-electric aircraft crossed international borders. Piloted by BETA test pilot Chris Caputo, the flight involved traversing Class B airport airspace, which sees up to an average of 53,000 passengers movement each day. The aircraft was flown to BETA’s Montréal office, which the firm opened in March this year. The team there is now 70-strong.
Kyle Clark, BETA’s founder and CEO, said: “Our aircraft design is being developed by a collaborative, cross-border team of talented engineers, many of whom are based right here at our growing hub in Montréal. Quebec’s focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality matches ours at BETA, and we are grateful for the support of our partners in the region, like ICAO, AéroMontréal, the airport, and the delegation. This flight represents another meaningful step toward creating a sustainable aviation future globally.”
To commemorate the flight, BETA hosted a small event to display its aircraft and discuss the importance of sustainable aviation and collaboration between the regions. In attendance was the Secretary General of ICAO, Juan Carlos Salazar; President of AeroMontréal, Melanie Lussier; the Quebec Delegate for New England, Marie-Claude Francoeur; and Yves Beauchamp, President and CEO of ADM.
Salazar, ICAO Secretary General said: “This aircraft’s safe arrival here yesterday represents the very first international flight of a 100% electrically powered aircraft, configured to carry passengers or cargo, and provides a concrete and very timely example of the incredible innovation taking place all across our sector to help address the CO2 emissions impacts of international air mobility.”
AeroMontréal’s Lussier added: “BETA’s technological and operational achievement of successfully completing the all electric binational flight from Plattsburgh, NY to Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, marks a major turning point for the entire industry, the region and the aerospace sector in Quebec.”
Prior to this flight, BETA has flown its prototype aircraft over 26,000miles (42,000km) over the past three or so years, including some flights halfway across the US, whilst charging on its own charging infrastructure.