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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Oct. 19, 2023

Joint Base Andrews welcomes arrival of all-electric aircraft after historic flight

By Senior Airman Bridgitte Taylor | 316th Wing Public Affairs

AFWERX, in collaboration with one of its primary division partners, BETA Technologies, an electric aerospace company, landed an ALIA conventional take-off and landing, all-electric aircraft at Andrews during a multi-stop flight from Vermont to Florida, Oct. 18.

AFWERX, an innovation program of the Department of the Air Force, and BETA are collaborating in the development of advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing, eVTOL, aircraft for potential military applications. This partnership leverages BETA's knowledge in eVTOL design and AFWERX's network to advance the development of zero-emission aircraft for military operations. 

"JBA is a high-visibility area with people from the Pentagon, Congress, and government officials, so we really wanted to target this area to be able to showcase the aircraft, its capabilities, and to let people see all-electric aviation is possible,” said Jill Sanning, from BETA. “Demonstrating the ALIA is the goal for the road show we’re doing all the way down to Florida.”

This aircraft has flown more than three years and 26,000 miles, making multiple flights across the U.S., using BETA’s own recharging infrastructures.

“I always put into perspective, if you look how far we’ve come in the last 120 years, it’s no flight to electric aviation,” said Emma Davis, BETA flight test engineer. “If you fast forward 100 years, I think electric aviation will be dominating the aeronautic industry.”