Aircraft

Eviation sets sights on regional travel with nine-seat electric Alice aircraft

Eviation sets sights on region...
Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice
Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice
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Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show
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Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show
Eviation is showing off what it says is an operational prototype of Alice at the Paris Air Show this week, offering attendees a first look at its sleek styling and 16.12-m (53-ft) wingspan
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Eviation is showing off what it says is an operational prototype of Alice at the Paris Air Show this week, offering attendees a first look at its sleek styling and 16.12-m (53-ft) wingspan
Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show
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Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show
Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice
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Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice
Making its mark at the Paris Air Show this week is Eviation's Alice, which is a light nine-seater all-electric plane designed to service regional areas
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Making its mark at the Paris Air Show this week is Eviation's Alice, which is a light nine-seater all-electric plane designed to service regional areas
The Alice electric aircraft is built to cover 650 miles at a time
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The Alice electric aircraft is built to cover 650 miles at a time
Early days it may be, but there are plenty of exciting things happening when it comes to electric aviation
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Early days it may be, but there are plenty of exciting things happening when it comes to electric aviation
Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice
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Render of Eviation's nine-seat electric aircraft, Alice

Early days it may be, but there are plenty of exciting things happening in electric aviation. Earlier this month we saw the first public outing of the largest hybrid-electric plane to ever take flight, following other significant milestones such as the first electric aircraft to cross the English channel. Making its mark at the Paris Air Show this week is Eviation's Alice, which is a light nine-seater all-electric plane designed to service regional areas.

The goal of electric aircraft makers like Israel's Eviation is not to replace long-haul commercial air travel, at least not yet. These aviation startups imagine light electric aircraft with their smaller range servicing shorter routes up to around 1,000 miles (1,600 km), something Eviation refers to as middle-mile aviation and a sweet spot for electric aircraft.

This echoes the ambitions of Ampaire, the LA-based company behind the aforementioned hybrid electric plane which flew for the first time two weeks ago. But unlike the Ampaire 337 plane, which is essentially a six-seat Cessna 337 retro-fitted with an electric propulsion system, Alice is designed from the ground up for electric travel.

Eviation is showing off what it says is an operational prototype of Alice at the Paris Air Show this week, offering attendees a first look at its sleek styling and 16.12-m (53-ft) wingspan
Eviation is showing off what it says is an operational prototype of Alice at the Paris Air Show this week, offering attendees a first look at its sleek styling and 16.12-m (53-ft) wingspan

Eviation has agreements in place with both Siemens and magniX for Alice's propulsion systems, offering its customers a choice of two options. Both will see a main pusher propellor on the end of its tail along with one on both wingtips, all outputting 260 kW. These propel the 12.2-meter (40-ft) aircraft to a cruise speed of 240 knots (276 mph, 445 km/h), and carry up to nine passengers across distances of up to 650 mi (1,046 km).

Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show
Eviation prepares its nine-seat electric aircraft Alice for the Paris Air Show

Eviation is showing off what it says is an operational prototype of Alice at the Paris Air Show this week, offering attendees a first look at its sleek styling and 16.12-m (53-ft) wingspan. The company's plans from here involve conducting test flights this year with an eye toward certification in 2021, followed by deliveries to customers for commercial flights in 2022.

Source: Eviation

18 comments
SimonClarke
I don't understand why this and another couple of electric aircraft are mounting the motors at the wingtips. I do understand the aerodynamics around either a tip tank or winglet. I also understand asymmetric thrust. if this aircraft has just taken off and one of the motor computers has a slight glitch there could be enough thrust from one side to completely spin the aircraft. they might have this covered by monitoring the other motor but the last thing you want at take off is zero thrust. they would do far better mounting the props as close inboard as is practically possible.
JimRD
Great looking plane and actually being built. What happens if it has an electrical short and the motors quit? Is there redundancy - like three separate circuits and battery systems? Could it land on one motor. I would feel antsy getting into this one.
paul314
How many under-10-passenger regional planes are currently in use? Corporate aircraft?
riczero-b
Yes Mr. Clarke, the wing must be an engineering marvel to cope with the motor weight, thrust and aerodynamic flex in such a thin profile. Good luck to them.
ilya
The plane looks cute. Let's revisit it once it actually flies. But looking at the shop it would be a very long stretch get it certified by 2022.
vince
The future of all continental flights is electric.
Towerman
@simonclarke Compared to ICE engines, electric motor systems are reliable beyond comparison, the chances of an electric motor/esc battery failing is very slim compared to an ICE. I do however find it a bit Odd mounting the motor at the tip so i agree with that, in addition, turbulence is more evident or rather amplified at the tips, so the motors will be bouncing about a lot more in turbulent air... it does look nice however. whats the clearance, from prop to ground at the tips.
Towerman
@jimRD Reliability wise you have nothing to fear, electric motors are beyond comparably reliable against ICE engines, the ESC's are solid state, if they are built by a trusted brand and if you look after it (keep them cool and operate them within standards) there is nothing to fear, much safer than current ICE aircraft.
Towerman
@ Vince indeed @ riczero-b Indeed as well, it just doesn't sit right with me having all that weight, bulkiness and power at wingtips. Again it does look nice.. but practically it hurts thinking about what the plane will feel when it flies like that.
toyhouse
The configuration with wingtip motor nacelles does seem odd at first glance, but that's because electric presents opportunities we're not used to seeing before. Perhaps they do it to create the cleanest thrust line possible for charge economy? Nothing behind to create turbulence or drag. Just guessing. As for outboard weight; once airborne, lift takes over some of the stress imposed by outboard weight. The power-pods may also weigh less than typical outboard fuel tanks when full and stress surely wouldn't be comparable to wing mounted jet engines, even out at the tips - the center third engine would balance that out as thrust would now be symmetrical? The size is curious though. Guess they need to cleanup the air going around whatever is inside. No details are given. Interesting design.