South Burlington Tech Company Unveils Electric 'Air Taxi' Prototype

Feb 4, 2019

Electric transportation offers the promise of rapid travel and zero emissions, often seen in the increasingly sophisticated electric cars that can travel 200 to 300 miles on a single charge. But electric air travel poses unique challenges, not the least of which includes swapping a jet fuel-powered engine for a battery-powered aircraft.

Now the South Burlington- and Plattsburgh-based Beta Technologies is demoing an electric "air taxi" that the company says will be the electric aircraft at the center of planned cross-country flight this summer.

The idle Ava XC prototype displays its eight propellers and eight motors along with its 35-foot wingspan.
Credit Eric Adams / Beta Technologies, courtesy

Kyle Clark, an engineer and president at Beta, joins Vermont Edition to talk about the eVTOL—or electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle—the company is developing, the benefits of electric aviation and the challenges still facing electric air travel.

Broadcast live on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.