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Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Eglin AFB Sees 1st Electric Charging Station

BETA Technologies Takes Pole Position for This Milestone, But More Are Always Up for Grabs

The Department of Defense has tapped BETA Technologies for the installation of Eglin AFB's first electric aircraft charging station.

The partnership, begun in 2020, has seen a few intriguing milestones between the two operators so far, with the firm's Alia aircraft being put through its paces by USAF and Army test pilots. Until now, things have remained largely exploratory, evaluating the progress of electric aircraft and the greater applicability of BETA's charging infrastructure.

The new charger will sport a fairly open-ended layout in accordance with GAMA's interoperability requirements, allowing a wide array of compliant electric aircraft and even ground vehicles to top off their batteries on the field. 

“The DoD, and specifically AFWERX’s Agility Prime team, have been invaluable partners to us for the past several years, offering deep insights that have helped us continue to progress our technology,” said Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark. “The installation of this charger is an enabling step as the DOD looks to transition to a more sustainable fleet. We look forward to using it to charge our aircraft later this year during planned on-base experimentation with the Air Force at Duke Airfield.”

“Charging station installation is a critical step to unleash test and experimentation with the DoD to leverage emerging electric aviation technology as a capability for the warfighter,” said Anthony Zartman, Agility Prime’s program manager and team lead. “Two charging test sites will be set up by the end of the calendar year, marking the first multimodal charging capabilities for the Air Force. Further, the charging stations will provide an opportunity to explore the utility of electric vehicle fleet modernization as well as base and flight line support equipment to improve energy use and reduce emissions.”



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