Electric planes, made in Vermont, buzz their home turf

Four piloted, battery-powered airplanes built by South Burlington-based Beta Technologies circled above parts of Chittenden County midday Friday from their home base at Burlington International Airport (BTV).

The aircraft (a trio of C172s and a single C180 — plus a conventionally powered helicopter flying backup) attracted little attention as they buzzed north above the Burlington waterfront.

The flyover is part of the airport’s 100th anniversary celebrations this year, according to  Director of Aviation Gene Richards, as well as a tribute to local first responders.

Old school: The original control tower at what is now Burlington International Airport is used by Heritage Aviation on Aug. 30, 2019.

Beta, founded in 2017 and headquartered at BTV, is pioneering electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Friday’s flyover was described by founder Kyle Clark as “a visual thank you” to the community.

The aerial salute began in Shelburne about 12:30 p.m. and continued above the Burlington waterfront, Colchester and the University of Vermont Medical Center.

It concluded about 1 p.m. at the planes’ home base at Burlington International Airport.

Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or joelbaird@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.

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