Advanced Air Mobility News

Eviation’s Alice Takes Flight

Eviation’s Alice Takes Flight

In what could be seen as a giant step forward in the electrification of commercial aviation, Eviation’s Alice made its first flight on September 27, 2022.

Alice is an all-electric powered twin-engine aircraft that can carry two pilots and nine passengers up to 440 nmi.

The aircraft took off for the first time from Moses Lake in Washington State in the US, and in doing so entered into the history books as the first flight of an all-electric aircraft.

During the eight-minute flight, Alice reached a maximum altitude of 3,500ft, with the Eviation team saying later that the short flight provided an invaluable set of data that will allow the company to further optimize the aircraft.

“Today we embark on the next era of aviation– we have successfully electrified the skies with the unforgettable first flight of Alice,” said Gregory Davis, President and CEO, Eviation. “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.”

Launched during the 2019 Paris Air Show, Alice has a maximum cruise speed of 250kts and is designed to operate flights between 150 miles to 250 miles.

However, although the company displayed a full-size mockup of the aircraft during the Pairs show, the final design would be changed before the aircraft could fly for the first time.

Design changes were largely confined to the rear of the aircraft, with the V-tail design being replaced by a more conventional T-tail, and the rear-mounted propeller being swapped for a pair of rear-mounted engines.

The first orders were placed for Alice in 2019, with US-based Cape Air becoming the launch customer. Although the number of aircraft it ordered was not released at the time, it would say in 2022 that it had ordered up to 75 of the aircraft, which it plans to use on scheduled services from Boston to smaller markets including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

As well as passenger operations, Alice is being designed to operate in an all-freight configuration, with one of its earliest customers being DHL Express, which placed an order for 12 Alice aircraft in August 2021.

“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.”

Powered by a pair of magniX magni650 engines, Eviation expects Alice to gain its certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2023.