Eviation Aircraft, a manufacturer of all-electric aircraft, successfully completed the first flight of its zero-emission Alice aircraft.
Alice lifted off from Grant County International Airport (MWH), flying for 8 minutes at an altitude of 3,500 feet. This flight of the technology demonstrator provided Eviation with invaluable data to further optimize the aircraft for commercial production.
"People now know what affordable, clean and sustainable aviation looks and sounds like for the first time in a fixed-wing, all-electric aircraft. This ground-breaking milestone will lead innovation in sustainable air travel, and shape both passenger and cargo travel in the future said Eviation President and CEO Gregory Davis.
Alice produces no carbon emissions, significantly reduces noise, and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops. This new generation of aircraft has the power to transform communities by providing access to airports not currently used by commercial flights due to noise concerns or restricted operating hours. Eviation Alice is targeted at commuter and cargo markets and will typically operate flights ranging from 150 miles to 250 miles.
Cape Air and Global Crossing Airlines, both US-based regional airlines, have placed orders for 75 and 50 Alice aircraft respectively. DHL Express is Eviation's first cargo customer, with an order of 12 Alice eCargo planes. With this engagement DHL aims to establish the first electric express network, leading the way for a new era of zero-emissions air freight.
“We currently fly more than 400 regional flights per day, connecting more than 30 cities across the United States and Caribbean,” said Cape Air Founder and Board Chairman Dan Wolf. “Alice can easily cover 80 percent of our flight operations, bringing sustainable, emission-free travel to the communities we serve."
The all-electric Alice aircraft features a max operating speed of 260 knots and a max useful load of 2,500 lbs for passenger version and 2,600 lbs for eCargo version.
Alice is available in three variants including a nine-passenger commuter, a six-passenger executive cabin, and an eCargo version. All configurations support two crew members. The executive cabin and eCargo variations are identical to the commuter configuration, except for the interior.
Alice is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units from magniX. Other key suppliers include AVL (battery support), GKN (wings), Honeywell (advanced fly-by-wire system, flight controls and avionics), Multiplast (fuselage), Parker Aerospace (six technology systems), and Potez (doors).
Alice's advanced battery system is efficient and endlessly upgradeable enabling range improvements as battery technology evolves. The aircraft also incorporates a fly-by-wire cockpit, providing greater reliability and systems redundancy.