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Eviation Aircraft, a manufacturer of all-electric aircraft based in Washington State, announced on Nov. 2 that the order book for its zero-emission aircraft, called the Alice, has passed a total value of US$2 billion.
The Alice prototype was first unveiled in 2019 at the Paris Airshow. Two years later, in July 2021, an updated configuration was unveiled featuring a T-tail and two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units.
The Alice recently achieved a major milestone, recording its maiden flight on Sept. 27, 2022, at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. The aircraft flew for eight minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet and peaking at 147 knots before safely landing.
The purpose of the flight was to ensure the propulsion system — which includes the battery powerplant — and the fly-by-wire system function properly. The next step for the manufacturer is to work towards certification flight tests, which Eviation is aiming to begin in 2025. Three aircraft will eventually join the flight test fleet, which will help the manufacturer achieve its certification goals, as well as its goal to begin deliveries by 2027.
As of late September 2022, U.S.-based regional airlines Cape Air and Global Crossing Airlines had placed orders for 75 and 50 of the Alice aircraft, respectively. According to Eviation, German airline operator EVIA AERO is now also among the customers for the Alice.
The all-electric plane is to be available in a nine-passenger commuter version, a six-passenger executive cabin configuration, and an eCargo version. Eviation has already secured a launch customer for the eCargo version, as DHL Express has placed an order for 12 of the type.
To date, there are nearly 300 Alice aircraft on order, according to Eviation.
“Our order book passing the US$ 2 billion mark is a significant commercial milestone,” said Gregory Davis, president and CEO of Eviation. “This success demonstrates that the Alice is leading the industry and meeting the market demand for zero-carbon flight.”
Eddie Jaisaree, VP of commercial sales, added: “The aircraft is capturing the hearts and minds of the marketplace with its beautiful design, low operating costs, and carbon zero footprint.”
Not only does the Alice produce no carbon emissions and cost much less to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops, “the aircraft is also quieter than combustion engine aircraft,” the company said.
The aircraft has a max operating speed of 260 knots, and is expected to operate flights ranging from 150 miles to 250 miles upon entry into service. The Alice features an “advanced battery system” that is “endlessly upgradeable,” meaning the range can be improved as battery technology evolves. Eviation is targeting 30 minutes of charge time for an hour of flight time.
“The Alice will not just protect the planet, but also create a more enjoyable flight experience for passengers,” concluded Jaisaree. “Considering the environmental and fuel cost challenges facing conventional airlines, incorporating the Alice into our customers’ fleets will give them a significant competitive advantage.”