E-Plane startup Beta raised $368 million led by Fidelity, Amazon

What is the news ?

Beta, a e-plane startup has raised $368 million of funding from Fidelity Management & Research Co. and Amazon.com Inc.

The funding will take Beta from the test aircraft it flies now through the construction of a factory and the first deliveries to the U.SAir Force in 2023, said Kyle Clark, founder and chief executive officer.

About the startup

Beta is competing with dozens of startups and large companies, including Boeing Co. and Cessna maker Textron Inc., to produce new aircraft that look like giant toy drones to ferry cargo and eventually people.

Beta, is designing its aircraft with an on-board pilot and will transition to pilotless aircraft when regulations permit.

Beta is signing up aerospace suppliers for “high touch” structures, interiors and avionics that don’t differ much from current aircraft. It will focus on motors, controls and configuring batteries, Clark said. It has also designed charging stations for the aircraft that it plans to roll out.

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