Alia-250 is an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft being developed by Beta Technologies, an electric aircraft start-up headquartered in Vermont, US.

Unveiled in June 2020, Alia-250 will be available in both passenger and cargo versions. The project involved three years of design and development. The electric aircraft can take off and land vertically before transitioning to long-range flight.

Beta Technologies was established in 2017 with the aim of developing a battery-powered aircraft with vertical take-off and landing capabilities. It prepared the design of Alia-250 based on experience gained from successful test flights of Ava, its first manned prototype aircraft.

A prototype of the new aircraft under development made a flight from Plattsburgh, New York, to the company’s headquarters in March 2021.

Design and features of Alia-250

The design of Alia-250 is inspired by the Arctic tern, the longest-migrating bird in the world. It takes cues from the bird’s tail configuration and wing stance, which enable Arctic terns to take long-range flights, to deliver a similar performance.

With a wingspan of 50ft, the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 6,000lb (2,721kg). The passenger variant of the aircraft can carry six passengers including a pilot, while the cargo variant will have 200ft³ of space.

The efficient aerodynamic features of the eVTOL aircraft include arched wings, tapered wing-tips and angled trusses. The V-shaped tail is expected to reduce drag and improve stability at low speeds.

Alia-250 propulsion and performance

Alia-250 is powered by a distributed direct-drive electric system and is powered by sealed battery packs. It has four horizontally mounted rotors that provide vertical lift and a single propeller in the rear to propel the aircraft forward. The fixed rotors reduce the eVTOL aircraft’s complexity while also lowering its manufacturing cost, reducing the need for aircraft maintenance and enhancing safety.

The air-cooled electric motors that propel Alia-250 have been designed in-house and offer high torque density and redundancy while providing increased efficiency. Manufactured with high precision and process control, the lift and pusher motors are fully customised and will allow the aircraft to fly long distances.

The eVTOL aircraft will have customised battery packs placed below the cabin to ensure a low centre of gravity for the aircraft and protect it from turbulence.

The battery pack can be charged in 50 minutes using Beta’s Rapid Charging System, which can be deployed as a standalone fixture to enable airport operations or integrated into a charging pad for off-airport applications.

The rapid charging system offers 480V AC, three-phase at 60Hz with an AC grid current of 450A and a continuous power rating of 350kVA. It offers a battery charge range of up to 950V DC, with a continuous charge current of 350A and boost charge current of 500A. The electric aircraft has a range of approximately 463km and can cruise at a speed of up to 270km/h.


United Therapeutics, an American biotechnology company involved in the development of artificial organs, is the launch customer of Alia-250. The company aims to use the aircraft for the distribution of human organs. Package delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS), along with its subsidiary UPS Flight Forward, reached an agreement to buy ten Alia-250 aircraft from Beta Technologies in March 2021, with an option to purchase up to 150 aircraft. The aircraft to be delivered to UPS will have a cargo payload capacity of 635kg, range of 402km and cruising speed of 274km/h. The first delivery of the Alia-250 aircraft is expected to take place in 2024.