UPS Flight Forward to add 150 electric aircraft for small and mid-size markets
UPS Flight Forward plans to buy state-of-the-art aircraft.
- Beta Technologies’ electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to land on-property at UPS facilities in small and mid-size markets.
- Enhances UPS network flexibility benefits healthcare providers and small and medium-sized businesses.
- A flexible, sustainable solution to reduce air network emissions; recharging stations can also be used with electric-powered ground vehicles.
Flight and Operation:
UPS, together with its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary focused on drone delivery, plans to purchase electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA) to expand its air service. It benefits healthcare providers and small and mid-size businesses with its support. These aircraft will take off and land directly on UPS property, it can move smaller loads that would take longer time by ground or small aircraft, with its low noise operation, less time in transit, zero-emission and low operating cost eVTOL aircraft is perfect for UPS.
“This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers, and the environment,” said UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer Juan Perez. “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 BETA aircraft has a 1,400-pound (635 kg) cargo capacity with a 250-miles (400 km) range and cruising speed of up to 170 miles per hour, UPS Flight Forward scheduled to take delivery of its BETA eVOTL aircraft in 2024, with an option to purchase up to 150 aircraft.
UPS has reserved BETA’s recharging stations and ensures safe and rapid charging of the aircraft in under one hour to facilitates faster cargo loading and unloading. The charging station also offers the aircraft’s batteries a second life cycle. After the batteries’ first life cycle in the aircraft concludes, they can be fitted to the charging stations to recharge the aircraft’s onboard batteries as well as UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles. UPS currently operates more than 12,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and announced a commitment to purchase up to 10,000 Arrival electric vehicles.
UPS Flight Forward received the first U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 135 Standard air carrier certification to operate a drone airline and is operating daily revenue-generating flights with drones.