World’s First All-Electric Passenger Aircraft “Alice”, Takes Its First Flight

An Israeli-based start-up technology company, Eviation Aircraft conducted the first test flight of an electric aircraft developed by the company in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. It was previously known as Alice by Eviation Aircraft, which is “the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft”. The aircraft made its initial flight on September 27 at Grant County International Airport (KMWH) in Moses Lake, Washington, US. The flight of Alice was around 7:10 AM PST (7:40 AM IST) and flew up for about 8 minutes at about 3500ft.

According to Eviation, this aircraft is designed to have a maximum daily range of 250 nautical miles (463 km) and a maximum cruising speed of 260 knots (481.52 km/h). An “executive” configuration with six seats will also be developed. This aircraft was named after Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” in “Alice in Wonderland.” The plane was designed to accommodate nine passengers and two pilots. Following an early iteration at the 2019 Paris Air Show, this revised fuselage (the main body of an aircraft) features a T-tail, high aspect ratio straight wings with winglets and a unique rear-mounted front propeller.

Eviation has partnered with AeroTEC, an aerospace engineering firm, to deliver the aircraft for some time, and to test it at AeroTEC’s facility in Moses Lake North. Eviation Aircraft aims to deliver passenger and cargo electric planes by 2027, however reaching that goal will also depend on advances in battery technology. And the initial commercial goal is to charge to fly above 240 to 400 kilometers in about 35 minutes.

Via video clip on Twitter shared by Eviation Aircraft

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The same 21700 [lithium ion] battery found in Teslas and many cars is thought to be used in the plane. The spec sheet shows the battery level is about 270 to 260 W-h/kg (Watt-hour per kilogram”. The battery itself “acts as a structural part of the plane, which means from a load-bearing standpoint, and without a battery, the aircraft cannot fly.” The company hopes the aircraft will receive FAA-type certification in time to enter service in 2025.

Eviation’s recent commercial success reflects the aircraft’s potential to revolutionize aviation in the short term. Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Eviation for an order for 50 Alice aircraft, with deliveries expected to begin in 2027. GlobalX said, “Eviation’s Alice aircraft is setting the standard for sustainable aviation, and we plan to offer the aircraft to cruise lines, tour operators, leisure travel suppliers, and commercial customers who require short-haul charter flights in Florida.”

In addition on April 2022, commuter giant Cape Air signed a letter of intent with Eviation for 75 Alice aircraft, which aims at advancing “sustainability, growth, and innovation.” Now for the latest tech news, you can follow Cosko techscoop on Instagram and Linkedin.

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