Blade Urban Air Mobility today reached agreement to add up to 20 of Beta Technologies’ $4 million Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft to its passenger transportation network, with deliveries due to start in 2024, followed by operations from 2025. According to Blade, the aircraft will be acquired through its “third-party financing relationships” with its operating partners, and Jet Linx Aviation is set to be the first to start operating an initial batch of five aircraft.
On a full charge, the Alia will be able to operate on routes of up to 250 nm (288 miles), carrying six people (including a pilot) or three standard cargo pallets at speeds of up to 170 mph. Beta says it will take 50 minutes to recharge the aircraft, which is to be certified under FAA’s Part 23 rules.
Blade says that, initially, the Alia will operate from the company’s existing private terminal infrastructure in the northeast U.S. where Beta will install its purpose-built recharging facilities. Most of the company’s services, which currently use a mix of helicopters and amphibious fixed-wing aircraft, are concentrated around the New York City area, as well as south Florida, Nantucket, and the Hamptons. According to Beta, the Alia will be 10 times quieter than a helicopter when hovering, and even quieter during cruise flight.