US express freight and mail company UPS has signed a contract for the purchase of 150 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The launch of cargo delivery using a new type of air transport is planned to be carried out in 2024. But for this it is still necessary to go through the difficult path of obtaining permission from the supervisory authorities.
The contract for the purchase of eVTOL electric aircraft was concluded with Beta Technologies of Vermont. This is the Alia-250c model, the prototype of which is already being tested for short-range flights, but so far without a vertical take-off and landing system. The manufacturer promises that the Alia-250c will be able to cover distances of up to 463 km at a speed of 270 km / h. In the cargo version, the device will be able to deliver goods with a volume of up to 5.6 m3… In the performance of an air taxi, up to five people can fit in the cockpit.
Vertical take-off and landing will create a simple infrastructure for receiving cargo. The company sees the medical industry as the most demanded area for express air delivery. But as this kind of services proliferates, it counts on serving small and medium-sized businesses.
The Alia-250c is an airplane circuit with one rear pusher propeller. For vertical take-off and landing, the device has four electric motors on four rods, placed in front and behind the wings. It takes about an hour to fully charge the batteries. All landing sites will be equipped with the necessary charging stations for quick service of the vehicles.
In 2024, UPS expects to receive the top ten Alia-250c electric jets. Whether this happens or not will depend on the success with the certification of the devices. At the same time, we can hardly count on the rapid and massive appearance in the air of a new type of freight and passenger transport. There is great interest in it, but there are also enough problems, the main of which remains the relatively low capacity of the batteries.
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