A new aircraft has been added to X-Plane 12 and its quite a different beast from the usual airplane in X-Plane. This one is the Alia-250 and its an eVTOL aircraft that Austin Meyers posits as the future of general aviation. Let’s have a look!
Might Alia 250 be the future of general aviation?
General aviation seems to be at a bit of a crossroads these days based on some of the conversations that I’ve been reading in some flight forums. New technologies are coming on stream but aren’t mature yet while old GA aircraft like the Cessna 152 and 172 continue to dominate the flight lines of many schools with some aircraft having been around for twice as long as some of their pilots.
Change is inevitable of course! According to a new video from the X-Plane team, X-Plane founder Austin Meyer seems to be making the argument that aircraft like the Alia 250 might be the future. No runway needed and no fuel needed either as its powered by batteries.
This is an interesting video too because it shows us the value of X-Plane in its ability to be a prototyping tool.
Just a walk around the block
The video above also ends in a bit of a tutorial that shows us how to get the aircraft going. The rotors on the top of the aircraft are controlled by a helicopter style collective that power them up and down. Then, once the aircraft is up and moving, a second control that X-Plane labels as “Throttle horizontal up a bit” and “Throttle horizontal down a bit” lets you power up a pusher propeller that gets the type up to speed.
I tried out the aircraft for a very quick flight and quickly learned from the X-Plane community forums that the place to start this aircraft is over at Burlington International Airport (KBTV) where Alia has their facility and where X-Plane has their charging pad.
Takeoff is easy, much easier than a conventional helicopter, and the transition to forward flight doesn’t take too much either as the power comes up on rapidly and the aircraft surges forward. Landing is a bit more tricky, helicopteresq but still easier than most helicopters that I’ve flown.
This is a very interesting and intriguing airplane and I feel like its inclusion really puts a bit of that X in the X-Plane experience.