Electric aircraft start-up Eviation, is one step closer to flying their highly anticipated all-electric “Alice” aircraft. The production of sustainable commuter aircraft received a huge boost this week with the delivery of the planes first Electric Propulsion Unit (EPU) from electric aircraft motor manufacturer magniX.
Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said the development could help “revolutionise passenger and cargo flights” and that Eviation has hit “one of the key milestones in getting emission free, low-cost, all-electric aviation off the ground”.
The Washington based company is expecting to make the first test flight of Alice this year.
An electric aviation revolution
The Alice’s first public exhibition at the June 2019 Paris Air Show attracted the attention of many within the industry. The aircraft’s three all-electric capabilities and sleek, space-age design have led to much speculation about its future.
So far, the company has only produced a prototype model, but there’s a lot to be excited about from the spec. The aircraft is capable of flying up to nine passengers and has a maximum payload of 1,134 kg. It can also reach ranges of up to 440 nautical miles with a cruise speed of 220kn. The lightweight 95% composite frame offsets a massive 820-kWh battery pack.
Perhaps its most exciting feature is the three electric motors. The aircraft uses magniX propulsion systems, which produce zero emissions and have lower operating costs. The specially designed EPU’s also provide a high level of reliability and redundancy and are essential to the finished Alice aircraft.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, said,
“Together, we will enable a great flying experience – zero emissions, quieter, lower cost, all from and to airports closer to more communities.”
While they have featured on aircraft since December 2019, the magniX EPU’s are only on track to FAA Part 33 certification by 2022. Eviation will soon start flight testing for the Alice ahead of gaining certification.
On the partnership, Bar-Yohay also added,
“After many successful flights and tests of the magniX EPUs, we’re confident the system will propel us to bringing Alice to market and delivering a sustainable, scalable mobility solution”.
Words by Jonathan Ritchie