UPS Flight Forward orders electric aircraft

UPS Flight Forward is to take delivery of 10 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in 2024, with an option for up to 150 from Beta Technologies (BETA).

The aircraft have a range of up to 250 miles and a payload capacity of 635kg, and will emit no emissions from flight. UPS Flight Forward say that eVTOL can move smaller loads that would otherwise fly on small feeder aircraft or be taken by vans. They will also be able to takeoff and land on UPS property.

“This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers and the environment,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation.”

The order will include BETA’s fast charging station for rapid charging of the aircrafts’ batteries in under an hour between flights. Once the aircrafts’ batteries have reached the end of their useful life for flight, these will be recycled into the charging unit to recharge other flight batteries as well as UPS fleet of electric vans.

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