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Aircraft are one of the big polluters in the world, and even during a pandemic, they are relied on heavily for deliveries. Just look at Amazon’s Air fleet expansion for proof of that. UPS, however, is going green by ordering vertical takeoff and landing electric (eVTOL) aircraft.
The aircraft UPS intends to use is the ALIA-250c manufactured by Beta Technologies. With a flying range of 250 miles and cargo volume of 200 cubic feet (1,400-pound capacity), these aircraft will be limited to carrying smaller loads. However, UPS views this as a positive as the aircraft will replace ground transport, which takes longer, and small feeder aircraft, which are environmentally unfriendly and require airports for takeoff and landing.
“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.”
Although only 10 eVTOL aircraft have been ordered, UPS has the option to increase the purchase from Beta to 150 aircraft. Of course, these aircraft need recharging, and UPS has also reserved Beta’s recharging station, allowing for a rapid recharge in under an hour, which is enough time for the aircraft to be unloaded and reloaded ready for the next flight.
This article originally published at PCMag