Beta Technologies Inaugurates The First Aircraft Charger In Mississippi


Beta Technologies announced today (Feb. 15) it has teamed with global FBO network Avflight and Golden Triangle Regional Airport (KGTR) in Columbus, Mississippi, to “inaugurate” the first aircraft charging station in the state. Burlington, Vermont-based Beta flew its fixed-wing prototype all-electric ALIA aircraft to the airport and plugged in to the newly commissioned airside charger, powered by utility provider 4-County Electric Power. The airport has a Level-3 Fast-charger on the airside for aircraft and a second Level-2 charger on the streetside for charging electric cars.

The Beta-designed charging stations are described as multimodal and interoperable, so they can charge both aircraft and surface vehicles. The collaboration with Golden Triangle Airport is significant in that it is near Mississippi State University, host of the FAA Center for Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems known as ASSURE—the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence. The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory is also located on the Mississippi State campus.

Joe Max Higgins, executive director of the Golden Triangle Development LINK, said, “The Golden Triangle region is at the forefront of economic development in the Southeast. Beta’s decision to place the state’s first electric charging station for aircraft at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport is an indication that we are bringing leading technology to our state.”

Stephen Luxion, executive director of Mississippi State’s ASSURE center, said, “Previous collaboration with BETA in surveying and forecasting the [Advanced Air Mobility] industry for the FAA has laid the groundwork for safely integrating this emerging technology into the nation’s airspace. With BETA right next door, we eagerly anticipate future opportunities to join forces and propel this new technology to new heights.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


    • BRAVO SIERRA with capital letters !!

      I’m sure the people of one of the poorest States are jumping in joy over this news !!

    • Probably some of both but whether you like it or not, electric aviation including general aviation is going to happen and the driving factor will not to just be “green” but mostly economic. I mostly drive a Chevy Bolt and it costs less than 3 cents a mile to drive. Other than tires, the only maintenance in 80,000 miles has been to change the rear wiper blade. It is also responsive and fun to drive. Batteries are getting better and charging times are going down.

        • It cost me $37,000 in 2019 not counting the $7500 tax rebate so a net around 30,000. Since then GM dropped the recommended price twice and the 2023 base price was about 26,500. Look it up yourself. So you could get one for about $20,000 with the tax rebate. I have mixed feelings about the tax rebate but maybe it was necessary to get things rolling. With or without the rebate, it is very unlikely that I would ever buy another non-electric vehicle. GM has stopped building the Bolt but is supposed to coming out with a new version with a newer battery chemistry. They are supposed to have an electric version of the Chevy Equinox SUV out in a few months with a base price about $30,000 not counting the rebate. The price of electric vehicles is coming down and the operating cost is far lower both for energy and maintenance.

  1. A few years ago Joby inaugurated an eVTOL dedicated passenger terminal. It is a very nice one. You can have a seat and feel what it is like waiting for your flight in the future.

  2. It’s really getting to the point that even considering to comment on some of these developments is nothing short of insulting and ludicrous. It’s all just dumbfounding. Civilization cannot survive with this type of mentality. I’m glad I’m old. I feel sorry for my grand kids. They will never experience the freedom and joy I have as a youth.

  3. KGTR isn’t too far off the path I’d take if I were ferrying an unpressurized plane from the East Coast to SoCal.

    Judging by the ADS-B data on FlightAware (, the airplane bunnyhopped the whole way there from Burlington VT.

    The more fast charging stations, the faster this electric aircraft can bunnyhop across the country. Maybe they’re shooting for a coast-to-coast record sometime in the future?

  4. For comparison the Pipistrel electric plane needs a battery replacement in 700 cycles. With a realistic flight time of 30 minutes that means 350 hours. Replacement cost of the battery is $22,200. Not including labor, shipping etc.

    Also, the engine currently has a 300-hour bearing/seal replacement requirement, for which it has to be sent back to Slovenia. At 20 minutes a pop, that’s about 900 flights so it’s not an imminent thing.

    The cost of the plane is $209,000 vs. $84,000 for the normally powered version.

    Now this eVTOL think will likely cost much more, perhaps an order of magnitude more.

    What price greenwashing?

    Above is the article I used for the information.

  5. To get back in balance with nature and the climate drama, this globe needs less humans to mess things up. It appears they are making progress in the Mideast.

  6. All of you EV aircraft proponents seem to forget, or, love to overlook one simple fact, weight. EV aircraft are not going anywhere until, if ever, the weight issue is resolved. I don’t see that happening in the near, or, not so near distant future. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see airplanes (at least as I understand them) flying without anything other than dinosaur dung for a long time.

    Even diesel aircraft to this date have barely made a dent into the aviation world. Why, weight. I’ve flown the Diamond diesels, they’re dogs. Heavy and slow as doggy doo. I don’t see either of these current technologies changing anytime soon. If they are, someone please point me in the right direction.

    That being said, please don’t lecture me about ground based EV’s. I’ve owned five Tesla’s and am on the waiting list for the Cyberbeast. Tesla and only Tesla meet mine and my wife’s life style. We love them. They are great. Oh, by the way, one of Tesla’s greatest attribute is their weight. They’re great in the snow. The traction is incredible. In addition, we haven’t been to a gas station for over five years. Can’t say I miss that experience. Pretty much everyone freaking out over cold weather operation do not understand how to operate their EV’s, don’t have a 220 home charging system, or, both. You’re crazy to have an EV without home charging. It’s one of the biggest un sung benefits.

    As far as battery life goes, 300,000 to 500,000 miles depending on model. Batteries are 100 percent recyclable. They will never hit a land fill if returned to Tesla. Ground EV technology alone will never carry anyone aloft for any reasonably accepted time, or, cost. It’s just not in the cards.

  7. In mid December, 1903, the Wright brothers successfully flew their first powered aeroplane on a windswept sand bar in coastal North Carolina. Whether it was the first to fly may be open to debate, but they were first to make a commercial success. The Flyer I made four flights totaling less that a mile in distance and lasting about three minutes before it crashed and had to be trucked back to Dayton. A decade later the first planes to fly in the “great war” were still pretty primitive and fragile. It took a quarter century before Lindberg managed a nonstop flight across the Atlantic. The point is, that we sit here 120 years later poo-pooing electric airplanes, saying they will never succeed. In the “crawl, walk, run” philosophy of technical development, they are still in the early crawl stage – kind of where the Wrights were in 1906. Electric flight will happen, whether with batteries, fuel cells or hybrid design using hydrogen fuel. How long it takes will depend on what energy breakthroughs occur first, but it will happen. Electric motors just have too many advantages as a motive force over ICE engines.

    As for ground EVs, Tom My is correct that Tesla has reached the early “run” stage of technology where weight is not a big issue. He is also correct that they are not for everyone, especially if you don’t have a place to house them out of the cold where they can be charged before they freeze up. Here in the sunny south, I can attest that they are selling like crazy. The local Tesla dealer sells them as fast as they arrive from the factory. I see 10-20 every day I go out driving around town. The problem is that battery research is seeking longer range and quicker charge capability, but not necessarily lighter weight. So those advancements do little for aircraft where weight is a huge concern.

  8. Has anyone seen a scientific, researched and impartial study on all of the factors that are involved in the EV story be it cars or airplanes. The energy I use for my lights and toaster are still produced by either coal, natural gas and in last place renewable. What percentage are we using to recharge Tesla’s or for that matter golf carts. I love solar energy and have had solar panels on my south facing roof the past 15years. I won’t even tell you how little my bill is. In fact at the end of the year, my generous power company has been sending me checks amounting to $700-$900. However, the fuel that powers our cars or planes is nothing more than stored solar energy that took millions of years to produce and we are now harvesting. Until we can produce batteries that don’t require diesel powered heavy equipment for mining the needed elements and then in turn recycle those batteries again using only solar energy for the recycle progress, where is the benefit. Perhaps hydrogen power may work as it has shown on an experimental basis and the process can utilize strictly the solar energy available during daylight. Unless a battery weighing less than the equivalent of my 200HP Lycoming and using an electric motor, or a pressure vessel designed to contain the hydrogen on my Pitts, Laser or RV4, I just don’t see this whole concept appearing over the horizon.

    Please enlighten me.

  9. “Nuclear provides nearly 20% of our electricity in the United States. It’s also the nation’s largest source of clean energy—making up more than half of our emissions-free electricity”. Sounds reasonable and might be worth revisiting.

  10. I was considering an airplane that has an engine monitor with which I’m unfamiliar. My wife and I also drive electric. It’s been a long time since I had to worry about even so much as an oil change. As I was reading the POH for the engine monitor, and all that can go wrong with an internal combustion engine, I longed for the day we’ll have electric aircraft. But, as already stated, short of some major breakthrough (unlikely) it’s going to be decades before we have that ease of ownership in aircraft. When we do they’ll be more reliable than turbine aircraft. And way cheaper to operate. (As a side note, the guy who bought our old Tesla Model S just crossed 280,000 miles – 10 years and the original, old technology, battery. Still pretty maintenance free).

    As to the generation of power being dirty, “so what’s the point”. The possibility of cleaning up the grid is real and happening. (Although careful studies have shown even electricity from coal is still cleaner per mile than gas.) When you buy an ev your contribution to carcinogenic aerosols will reduce over time, that cannot be said for any combustion engine.

    I am always curious about those who oppose the advance of EVs. Why? I travel in pretty conservative circles so get more opposition than most. So far I’ve only identified one reason – it’s not what we’ve done in the past. Thankfully that didn’t stop the Wright boys. Maybe it shouldn’t us.

    • Why do some people hate EV’s? I don’t like them so I can provide some candid insight.

      1. We mostly hate Teslas. MB, Lucid, Porsche, Rivian etc. I don’t mind so much. I will likely get an EV Benz as my next car but about 10+ years from now. For now I cherish my S Class.

      2. We like our cars. For many of us it’s not just transportation but a fun hobby and a mechanical connection we enjoy. For us an EV is like a really nice toaster. It may work OK but who really cares.

      3. We don’t like out money (as taxes taken from us by the government) going to help other people buy products we are opposed to.

      4. As above, but applying to EV charging stations, etc.

      5. As you identified many of us ICE guys and gals are conservative. We view EV fans, particularly Tesla stans as reprobate. When we see Teslas we see people whose philosophy opposes ours.

      6. Some of these EV’s are aesthetic abominations. For every person who drives one countless innocents have to see it on a daily basis. Particular case made for the Tesla Model X, 3, and Y. The Model S is dated, but actually somewhat attractive, on the outside at least.

      7. Most people hate Musk. My animosity towards him has softened considerably since he has made financial sacrifices to help preserve free speech.

  11. I’m a big fan of solar energy, as I mentioned I’ve had it on my roof for years now. I simply can’t harness it for my airplanes in a cost effective manner. Comparing electric cars to electric aircraft is a giant leap and hauling around a load that doesn’t get lighter as you fly is problematic. I retired off the Boeing 767 and try to visualize the alternative power pack that can replace thousands of gallons of jet fuel. Since this discussion originally started with electric powered Vertical Beta aircraft and recently the much hyped Colby, I wish one of their people would come on here and explain the progression from an airborne short uber flight to the practical application of a two hundred pax aircraft that has an endurance to span continents and oceans. I know they must read these pages or live in a vacuum.

    As Clint Eastwood might say, I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Now to tell the truth, I’ve forgotten myself in all this excitement.