Eviation, developer of an all-electric aircraft capable of carrying up to 9 passengers or 2,500lbs of cargo up to 450 nautical miles, recently successfully completed high-speed taxi tests, and received a pre-order for 50 aircraft from Global Crossing Airlines.
Above: Photo taken in Washington state shortly after the Alice’s high-speed taxi test
Eviation’s mission is to transform regional air transportation by offering electric aircraft that are far more environmentally friendly and cost-effective to operate and maintain than traditional combustion aircraft. So far the company has made immense progress towards its prototype goals, with flight tests near in sight.
On September 18th, the 57-foot Alice prototype took high-speed taxi tests in order to prepare for upcoming test flights. In the high-speed taxi, the aircraft was able to generate enough lift for its nose wheel to lift off the ground. Said Gregory Davis, the company’s CEO and president, ““Building an electric aircraft is a war on weight, and it’s a war on drag. Our challenges are to get the best possible lift-over-drag ratio.” Each motor at the rear of the aircraft can produce 650 kilowatts of power, meaning 1.3 megawatts of power for the aircraft during takeoff.
Watch the high-speed taxi test below:
Also earlier this month, the company announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) for an order of 50 Alice aircraft. GlobalX currently offers charters all over the world using its fleet of Airbus A320s, targeting customers like sports teams, school groups, or organizations that need to travel with large amounts of gear. According to GlobalX, Eviation’s Alice will help the airline achieve its goal of opening carbon-neutral charter services between the Bahamas, Florida, and the Caribbean. The LOI also indicates that deliveries of the Alice to GlobalX should begin in 2027.
Said Chair and CEO of GlobalX, Ed Wegel, “Eviation’s Alice aircraft is setting the standard in sustainable aviation, and we plan to offer the aircraft to our cruise line, tour operators, leisure travel providers, and business clients with a need for short-haul charter flights across Florida. The Alice aircraft will allow us to offer sustainable, regional flights to and from major markets, and is the first step in our initiative to be a zero-carbon emissions airline by 2050. We are proud to be a launch customer for Eviation and lead the charge in bringing carbon-free air travel to our passengers.”
Gregory Davis, President of Eviation, said: “Charter travel is attractive to both individuals and groups as it offers flexibility, privacy and convenience. Alice represents a pioneering approach to making this type of aviation sustainable for generations to come. We are delighted to enter this agreement with GlobalX, whose investment in zero-emissions flight demonstrates the airline’s commitment to cleaner skies, lower operational costs, and the provision of the most innovative options for air travel.”
Above: Rendering of the Eviation Alice performing regional transportation routes in the Bahamas
Why it’s important: While the Eviation Alice is not en eVTOL, it offers similar capabilities to transform regional transportation through the use of high-power electric propulsion. As with electric cars, electric aircraft are predicted to be far more cost-effective to maintain and operate than combustion vehicles. This could mean that as these aircraft ramp up production, regional and eventually long-distance air transportation could become far more prevalent and affordable. With these key announcements, Eviation proves effectiveness of its aircraft, and begins to lay down plans for entering into commercial operation.
Source // Simple Flying, Popular Science, Eviation Aircraft
- DHL Express to Order 12 Alice Cargo Aircraft from Eviation (August 2021)
- Eviation Unveils Production Configuration for its Alice Electric Aircraft (July 2021)
- Eviation Receives a MagniX Electric Propulsion Unit for its ‘Alice’ Aircraft (May 2021)
- Eviation Secures 150 Total Orders for its All-Electric Commuter Aircraft (October 2019)