dronelife UPS Will Purchase BETA Technologies VTOL Aircraft: the Future of Drone Delivery https://21megaportal.com/?p=6403 https://dronelife.com/
https://21megaportal.com/?p=6403 Miriam McNabb
UPS has announced plans to purchase electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from BETA Technologies (BETA), allowing them to expand their air service to small and mid-size markets. According to the announcement, “these aircraft will take off and land on-property at UPS facilities in a whisper-quiet manner, reducing time-in-transit, vehicle emissions, and operating costs.”
The decision could signal the future of large-scale drone delivery in the supply chain for the drone industry. “BETA’s aircraft are designed to operate autonomously as technologies and regulations mature,” according to the announcement. “UPS Flight Forward received the first U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 135 Standard air carrier certification to operate a drone airline, and is now operating daily revenue-generating flights with drones.” The FAA certification also allows UPS Flight Forward to fly payloads of up to 7,500 lbs. either with an operator or autonomously.
The BETA aircraft has a cargo capacity of 1,400 pounds and can quickly transport deliveries that would otherwise be transported by small fixed-wing planes. According to UPS, the VTOL aircraft will serve healthcare providers, small and medium-sized businesses, and other businesses in rural areas. “With a 250-mile range and cruising speed of up to 170 miles per hour, UPS will be able to plan a series of short routes, or one long route, on a single charge to meet the needs of customers,” according to the release.
“It’s all about innovation with a focus on returns for our company, our customers, and the environment,” said UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer Juan Perez. “These new aircraft will improve operational efficiencies in our business, pave the way for new services, and lay the groundwork for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operations.”
“We’re combining simple, elegant design with advanced technology to create a dependable aircraft with zero operational emissions that will revolutionize cargo transportation,” said BETA founder and CEO Kyle Clark. “We can turn relatively small spaces at existing UPS facilities into a micro air feeder network without the noise or operating emissions of traditional aircraft by utilizing vertical takeoffs and landings.”
UPS also intends to use BETA’s recharging station, which can recharge the aircraft in less than an hour, allowing for a quick turnaround for cargo loading and unloading.
BETA anticipates delivering the first ten aircraft in 2024. Last month, the company completed an interstate flight from its test facility in Plattsburgh, NY to its headquarters in Burlington, VT.
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