Eviation Aircraft has launched the all-electric Alice, which has just completed its maiden flight in Washington. The technology demonstrator will help Eviation prepare for commercial production with clients like DHL Express already in line.
First, for the maiden flight when Alice took off from Grant County International Airport, flying for eight minutes and reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet (about 1,100 metres). The launch took place later than Eviation Aircraft had suggested in an earlier communication, with a launch planned in 2021.
Nonetheless, “we have successfully electrified the skies with the unforgettable first flight of Alice,” said Eviation President and CEO Gregory Davis. He called it “a ground-breaking milestone” and pointed to Alice as a fixed-wing, all-electric aircraft.
Eviation Aircraft revealed details of the electric aircraft in July last year. Two electric drives from Magnix, each with 640 kW, were to provide propulsion for a claimed range of around 800 kilometres (500 miles) at 400 km/h (260 knots) top speed.
In today’s statement, Eviation, however, mentioned commuter and cargo markets, where typical flights would range from 150 miles to 250 miles.
Correspondingly, US regional carriers Cape Air and Global Crossing Airlines have ordered 75 and 50 Alice aircraft, respectively.
Cape Air Founder and Board Chairman Dan Wolf said”, “We currently fly more than 400 regional flights per day, connecting more than 30 cities across the United States and the Caribbean. Alice can easily cover 80 per cent of our flight operations, bringing sustainable, emission-free travel to the communities we serve .”
DHL Express reportedly is the first customer for the cargo variant with an order of twelve. The payload is 2,600 pounds or 1,200 kilograms. DHL Express states that the loading time per flight hour should be around 30 minutes”.
“The first flight of Alice confirms our belief that the era of sustainable aviation is here,” said Geoff Kehr, Senior VP, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Expres. “Alice is the true game-changer by enabling long-distance air transport for the first time with zero emissions.”
Eviation Aircraft now specified three variants of Alice: the nine-passenger commuter, a six-passenger executive cabin, and said eCargo version. All configurations support two crew members. Except for the interior, the executive cabin and eCargo variations are identical to the commuter configuration.
Eviation Aircraft was founded in Israel and with its base in the United States. The company targets Alice’s certification and entry into service for 2024.
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