Israeli start-up Eviation Aircraft has finalized the technical specifications of its electric Alice nine-seater commuter aircraft. The company is even in the process of assembling the first aircraft in its Arlington (Washington State) facilities close to Seattle. But Eviation has radically redesigned the Alice.
Eviation Aircraft unveiled its plans for an all-electric aircraft with high-energy-density batteries during the 2019 Paris Airshow. It had a true-scale model on site of the futuristic airplane with the characteristic fuselage, V-tail, three push-rotors, and two forward and a single aft gear.
Since Paris, the design has evolved significantly “based on real-world lessons learned and customer feedback”, the airframer says. The length has grown from 13.02 meters to 17.09 meters and wingspan from 16.1 to 18 meters. Gone is the V-tail with two vertical fins, having been replaced by a T-tail that flows gently from the redesigned aft fuselage. The aircraft is now much lower to the ground, with an overall height of 3.84 meters compared to 4.2 meters. The landing gear is now of a conventional configuration with a single nose gear and double main gear.
The original Alice was presented during the 2019 Paris Airshow. (Eviation)
The latest Alice no longer has three push-rotors, including one in the aft fuselage and two on the far end of the wings producing 350kW each. Instead, there are two magniX engines with pull-rotors that produce even more electric power at 640 kW each. In 2019, Eviation said the Alice would have a range of 1.000 kilometers but the latest design specifications show only 814 kilometers now with a maximum cruise speed of 220 knots. Maximum Take-Off Weight has gone up from 6.350 kilograms to 7.484 kilograms.
Eviation plans the first flight before the end of the year and targets certification and entry into service in 2024, two years later than planned. It says to have orders for some ninety aircraft. The only disclosed customer is New England-based regional Cape Air, which announced an order for a double-digit number of aircraft in Paris in 2019 at $4 million per aircraft. Currently, Cape Air operates a fleet of Tecnam P2012s, Cessna 402Cs and Caravan EXs, and Britten-Norman Islander BN2s.
Eviation Aircraft is founded by Omer Bar-Yohay and 70-percent owned by Singapore-based private investor Clermont Group, which had invested $76 million in the company in 2019.