The all-electric Eviation Alice completed its first flight today at Grant County Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. This 9-seat commuter aircraft is the first electric aircraft to fly that is aimed at the regional passenger and cargo market, and currently has major conditional orders from Cape Air and Global X. The first flight was just under 10 minutes long and kicked off the flight test program towards Part 23 certification by the FAA.
The Eviation Alice has a maximum range of 440nm, a max cruise speed of 250 knots, and a maximum payload of 2,500 lbs. The aircraft features advanced digital flight controls and will be the first Part 23 aircraft with a fly-by-wire fully electronic flight control system. The aircraft will also feature an advanced touch-screen cockpit to reduce pilot workload.
The Eviation Alice is powered by two MagniX electric motors providing 640kW each. These magni650 motors have been proven on other aircraft and MagniX has received special conditions from the FAA for its certification plan and is on the path to full FAA certification. These engines are zero-emissions, significantly (20-30%) quieter than comparable combustion engines, and have much lower maintenance, providing better economic performance and reducing downtime for operators.
The dimensions for the Eviation Alice are shown in the diagram below:
The milestone Eviation Alice first flight marks a milestone in the industry’s efforts to produce sustainable aircraft, as well as changing regional airline economics. We expect the Alice to open new markets to smaller cities that have recently lost air service. The superior economics of the aircraft using electricity rather than JetA provides lower fuel costs, a key element in aviation. Additionally, electric motors, with minimal moving parts, provide substantially lower maintenance costs when compared to conventional combustion engines.
As a result, the use of smaller aircraft, which typically would not have the seat-mile economics to compete with larger aircraft, becomes feasible. Cape Air, which operates smaller aircraft in its operations, believes the Alice could lower its operating costs and improve its margins once the aircraft enters service in 2025. With 30% of all flights under 250nm, the Alice has the adequate range to provide feeder service to major airports with competitive economics and fares..
The industry is rapidly moving towards sustainability, and today’s successful first flight is another key milestone in those efforts.