Eviation’s Electric Jet ‘Alice’ Wows Crowd at Paris Air Show
Prescott, Arizona is blessed with many things including great weather, location, and a booming population. It also has a world-class university. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is renowned for its aviation programs. But what Prescott lacks is jobs. The Israeli company, Eviation, recently located its electric jet factory facilities there, bringing jobs and tech growth potential to the central Arizona mountain city.
Eviation Aircraft unveiled its first prototype electric airplane, dubbed “Alice,” recently at the International Paris Air Show, with flight testing planned at Moses Lake in central Washington state.
According to an article by Alan Boyle for geekwire.com, Eviation hopes to win certification for Alice from the Federal Aviation Administration by late 2021 or early 2022. Alice carries an 8,200-pound battery that will give it a 610-mile range and speeds of 276 m.p.h.
Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay told reporters Eviation’s first customer will be Cape Air, which is headquartered in Massachusetts but flies general-aviation commuter routes in the Midwest, Montana and the Caribbean as well as in the northeastern United States.
Bar-Yohay stressed that Eviation’s Alice was designed from the ground up to be all-electric. “It’s not a retrofit of anything,” he said. “It is built the way a plane should be built in the 21st century.”
Eviation is one of several companies that are exploring electric airplanes. Bothell, Wash.-based Zunum Aero, for example, is working on a hybrid airplane with backing from Boeing and JetBlue, on a similar development timeline.
Boyle goes on to point out, Eviation has forged partnerships with MagniX as well as with Siemens for Alice’s three-motor propulsion system. Bar-Yohay said it’s likely that both motors would be offered as options — just as, say, Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets can be purchased with engines from either Rolls-Royce or GE.
Bar-Yohay noted that MagniX and Siemens are both working to get their motors certified. “We wish good luck to both sides,” he said, “and the winner will be the one that we fly with in the beginning.”
Even the BBC was impressed with Alice. It reported:
“The firm is using Siemens and magniX to provide the electric motors, and magniX chief executive Roei Ganzarski says that with two billion air tickets sold each year for flights of under 500 miles, the business potential for small electric passenger aircraft is clear.”
Crucially, electricity is much cheaper than conventional fuel.
“A small aircraft, like a turbo-prop Cessna Caravan, will use $400 on conventional fuel for a 100-mile flight, says Mr Ganzarski. But with electricity “it’ll be between $8-$12, which means much lower costs per flight-hour.”
read more at geekwire.com