Bristow pilots BETA’s ALIA on qualitative evaluation flight


Bristow has flown BETA Technologies’ eighth qualitative evaluation flight as part of on site visit to BETA’s headquarters today. 

The ALIA was piloted by Bryan Willows, Bristow’s program manager for AAM, alongside BETA test pilot Chris Caputo. A former US Marine, Willows is a rotorcraft Airline Transport Pilot, a Powered-lift CFII and holds single and multi-engine airplane ratings.

The aircraft took off at 10:30am from BETA’s flight test centre in Plattsburgh, New York and landed at 11:25am, clocking 55 minutes in the air. During the flight, Willows completed a standard flight profile featuring stalls, slow flight and takeoffs and landings.

“Getting Bryan, a powered lift pilot, in the cockpit of our aircraft gave us the opportunity to collect invaluable feedback,” Caputo tells Revolution.Aero. “As we drive toward certification and commercialisation, giving our operators the opportunity to get hands-on with the technology will help us deliver the safest, aircraft possible to our customers for an array of mission sets.”

(L-R) BETA test pilot Chris Caput alongside Bryan Willows, Bristow’s program manager for AAM.

The flights provide an opportunity to gain insight from the operators of this aircraft. BETA also gathers insight and feedback on the design and handling. All of the qualitative evaluation flights run for approximately an hour. The flight tests are conducted as BETA expect operators will operate the aircraft in service. Length depends on the type of testing being performed and BETA regulator flies for one to two hours at a time. 

In August 2022, Bristow placed a firm order for five eVTOL aircraft, with the option to purchase an additional 50. When BETA announced plans to certify its conventional model, the CX300, Bristow placed an additional deposit-backed order for 50 CX300s.