Beta Technologies, an electric aerospace start-up and eVTOL developer based in Vermont, has opened a research and development facility in Montréal, the company announced Wednesday. The facility is at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport in Dorval, a suburban city on the island of Montréal in Quebec province.
More than 50 employees have been hired at the new engineering hub, which opened in late 2022, and Beta plans to significantly increase the size of its workforce at the location this year, a company spokesperson told FutureFlight.
“With its deep aerospace engineering pedigree, Montréal has always been part of Beta’s long-term plan,” said Kyle Clark, the company’s founder and CEO. “Electrifying aviation is a big and important problem to solve, and it’s going to take a lot of really smart people to get there. We have already added a highly skilled team to our ranks in Montréal, and we look forward to continuing to tap into the wealth of experience and talent in the region as we grow.”
Beta says the new facility will focus on structural engineering and materials processing, supporting the ongoing development and certification of Beta’s all-electric Alia-250 eVTOL aircraft. The Montréal-based team “will primarily work on advanced design, flight sciences, flight controls, and data science to support the design, certification, and manufacturing of the aircraft's structure,” the company said in a statement.
In addition to its six-seat eVTOL aircraft, Beta has been developing a network of charging stations at airports across the U.S. to support the eventual operations of electric aircraft. The company has also used these charging stations to recharge its Alia-250 prototype during cross-country demonstration flights.
Beta aims to achieve FAA type certification for the Alia-250 eVTOL aircraft in 2024. The company is primarily focused on cargo applications for the aircraft, but it also plans to offer commercial air taxi services for passengers. It holds purchase agreements with the shipping provider UPS as well as United Therapeutics, which intends to use the aircraft to transport human organs bound for transplant surgeries. Other customers include Blade Urban Air Mobility, helicopter operator Bristow, and aircraft leasing group LCI.