Eviation has achieved a long-awaited first flight with its all-electric Alice aircraft, which it is developing for both commuter airline and private aviation applications. The battery-powered, fixed-wing prototype took off at 7:10 a.m. local time today from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, and landed eight minutes later after flying two circuits at 3,500 feet.
The September 27 flight, with test pilot Steven Crane at the controls, marks a significant milestone in the development of the Alice aircraft, which is designed to carry up to nine passengers and two pilots on daytime VFR flights of 250 nm. The company acknowledged this week that it wants to incorporate improved battery technology and so has pushed back its timeline for first deliveries to 2027.
In addition to the commuter model, Eviation plans to offer a cargo-carrying Alice with a payload capacity of 2,500 pounds (1,100 kilograms), as well as an executive version that seats six passengers. Two MagniX Magni650 electric propulsion units power the aircraft.
"The flight was exactly as planned," Eviation CEO Gregory Davis said. "The pilot executed the entire flight on the numbers. I was watching from just outside the telemetry room and as he hit every single point, it was just such a thrill," he said. "We couldn't be happier."
Eviation, which is based in Arlington, Washington, first unveiled a full-scale prototype of the Alice aircraft at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.
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