DALLAS – On the electric airplane front, it looks like things are moving forward at Eviation. The Israeli aviation company recently began ground testing on Alice, its nine-passenger, 250-knot plane.

On January 9, the craft was “out and about” north of Seattle conducting high-speed taxi tests. The company has an R&D facility in Arlington, Washington.

Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay also tweeted.

The first ground testing of the craft took place in December.

About Alice


The original concept for the airplane had engines on the wingtips. However, after a fire in January 2020, the aircraft was redesigned with a T-tail and power plants at the rear of the plane.

The company stresses that the design is based on current lithium-ion battery technology and does not rely on some futuristic development. However, the craft will incorporate new power storage technology as those systems advance.

In terms of environmental sustainability and cost, Bar-Yohay said, “I think it’s important that the industry makes itself more sustainable in terms of emissions, but it needs to work economically. Alice costs about $200 per flight hour to operate. A turboprop with similar performance costs between $1,200 and $2,000 per flight hour. This means that ticket prices for Alice could be substantially less than those for conventional aircraft.”

“Alice is a beautiful aircraft and represents the future of flying, plain and simple,” said Eviation Executive Chairman Roei Ganzarski. “Add in zero emissions, less noise, and significantly lower operating costs, and communities will be connected like never before, starting sooner than you think.”

Cape Air, the primarily New England regional carrier that also flies from Montana and the Caribbean, is the company’s first customer.

Image: Eviation

Versions


Plans currently call for Eviation to produce the Alice aircraft in multiple configurations, including passenger, executive, and freight versions.

Maximum payload will be around 2,500 lbs (1,134 kg). The craft is powered by dual Magni650 electric power units with a max takeoff power of 640 kilowatts and an output of 1,200 to 2,300 RPM. The 650s are operational to 35,000 feet (10,670 meters).

Dual Magnix650 power units provide thrust for the Eviation Alice aircraft. Image: Magnix.