Electric Alice plane tears down the runway in high-speed taxi test
Israeli startup Eviation introduced its all electric aircraft Alice at the Paris Air Show in 2019, and has been edging toward its first flight ever since. The company has this week taken an important step toward this milestone, breezing through some high-speed testing on the runway.
Alice is a luxury electric plane that has undergone some design tweaks since we first looked at it. The current version uses a pair of 640-kW magniX motors mounted to either side of the fuselage, offering a range of 814 km (506 miles) and cruise speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). With a payload capacity of 1,130 kg (2,500 lb), there is space onboard for nine passengers and two crew.
This production version of the plane was revealed in June 2021, with the first flight originally expected to take place later that year. Things haven’t quite gone to plan, but the team is celebrating today with the plane humming down the runway during a successful high-speed taxi run.
This testing included a rotation test, in which the nose of the plane is pulled up off the tarmac in preparation for take-off. Things didn’t quite go that far, obviously, but the sight of Alice streaming down the runway and and progressing to this point will be a very welcome one for the company’s engineers and aviation enthusiasts alike.
“A great day for electric aviation. More to come from Alice soon!” the company tweeted.
There's no word yet on when exactly the first flight is expected to take place. You can checkout footage from the taxi testing in the tweet below.