July 1, 2022

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The Battery That Flys - The New York Times

The Battery That Flys – The New York Times

Then he found himself considering a career on Wall Street, doing something he didn’t want to do far from where he wanted to be: moving back to Vermont.

“There is a brain drain” among the engineers of his state, he said. “People go to college and come back when they’re 40, because they realize San Francisco or Boston isn’t a cat’s meow.” Back in Burlington in his mid-twenties, said Mr. Clark became director of engineering at a company that designed power transformers for Tesla.

In 2017, he attended a conference where Ms. I made Rothblatt throw her to buy an electronic helicopter.

“There were about 30 people in the room, and none of them were excited about me,” said the lady. Rothblatt remembers. Then Kyle stood up and said, ‘I’m a person who specializes in electronics and power systems, and I’m confident we can achieve your specifications with a test flight in one to two years. Other people were shaking their heads. He was probably the youngest person in the room. So I came up to him during the break and said, ‘Where is your company located?’ And he said, ‘I live in Vermont.’

A few weeks later, after the second meeting, said Mr. Clarke drew a watercolor for his design and sent it to Mrs. Rothblatt. Within hours, $1.5 million of Beta Technologies’ seed capital was transferred to his bank account.

“He drew a beautiful design,” A. Rothblatt said.

A prototype with four inclined propellers was assembled in eight months, with Mr. Clark drives the car himself. Built in Burlington, the plane had to be flown over Lake Champlain, far from population centers.

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“Flying was so much fun that we found an excuse for every possible opportunity,” he said. Clark told an audience at MIT in 2019. In the end, the design turned out to be very complex. Clark threw it out. He created a simplified prototype modeled on the arctic tern, a small, slow bird capable of flying miraculous distances without landing.

Since then, Beta’s workforce has grown to more than 350 from 30. The company’s headquarters has expanded to include several buildings wrapping around the runway at Burlington International Airport, with plans to build an additional 40-acre campus.