Electric aircraft builder Eviation Aircraft successfully completed the first flight of its zero-emission Alice aircraft on September 27, 2022.
Alice lifted off at 7:10 a.m. from Grant County International Airport (MWH) in Washington state, flying for eight minutes at an altitude of 3,500 feet.
“Today we embark on the next era of aviation – we have successfully electrified the skies with the unforgettable first flight of Alice,” said Eviation president and CEO Gregory Davis.
“People now know what affordable, clean and sustainable aviation looks and sounds like for the first time in a fixed-wing, all-electric aircraft. This ground-breaking milestone will lead innovation in sustainable air travel, and shape both passenger and cargo travel in the future.”
Alice produces no carbon emissions, significantly reduces noise, and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops.
All-electric aircraft will make regional travel more economically and environmentally sustainable for businesses and consumers. This new generation of aircraft has the power to transform communities by providing access to airports not currently used by commercial flights due to noise concerns or restricted operating hours. Eviation Alice is targeted at commuter and cargo markets, and will typically operate flights ranging from 150 miles to 250 miles.
Cape Air and Global Crossing Airlines, both US-based regional airlines, have placed orders for 75 and 50 Alice aircraft respectively. DHL Express is Eviation’s first cargo customer, with an order of 12 Alice eCargo planes. With this engagement DHL aims to establish the first electric express network, leading the way for a new era of zero-emissions air freight.
“The first flight of Alice confirms our belief that the era of sustainable aviation is here,” said Geoff Kehr, Senior Vice President, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Express.
“With our order of 12 Alice e-cargo planes, we are investing towards our overall goal of zero-emissions logistics. DHL is the industry leader by introducing new and more sustainable cargo aircraft types to the global market. Alice is the true game-changer by enabling long distance air transport for the first time with zero emissions. This historic flight marks a significant milestone on our journey to ultimately achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Alice is available in three variants including a nine-passenger commuter, an elegant and sophisticated six-passenger executive cabin, and an eCargo version. All configurations support two crew members. The executive cabin and eCargo variations are identical to the commuter configuration, except for the interior. Its load capacity is 2,500 lbs for passenger version and 2,600 lbs for eCargo version.
Alice is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units from magniX, the only flight-proven electric propulsion systems at this scale. Other key suppliers include AVL (battery support), GKN (wings), Honeywell (advanced fly-by-wire system, flight controls and avionics), Multiplast (fuselage), Parker Aerospace (six technology systems), and Potez (doors).