Electric airplane, Alice, set to begin test flights

Brian McCowan, Zondits Staff, 3/24/2022

Zondits has recently reported on electric snow blowers, mowers, and motorcycles. And now, here comes an electric airplane. CNN Business News reports that Eviation, a start-up firm based in Israel is in the final testing stages of their all-electric commuter aircraft named Alice. Alice’s engine was tested in January at an airport near Seattle and the firm expects to perform the first flight tests in the coming weeks. 

From the CNN report: “The Alice, a plane developed by Israeli company Eviation, went through engine testing last week at Arlington Municipal Airport north of Seattle. According to Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay, the Alice is just weeks away from its first flight. With battery technology similar to that of an electric car or a cell phone and 30 minutes of charging, the nine-passenger Alice will be able to fly for one hour, and about 440 nautical miles. The plane has a max cruise speed of 250 kts, or 287 miles per hour.” 

The article goes on to compare the expected performance of Alice to a Boeing 737 which has a max cruise speed of 588 miles per hour. Zondits finds that comparison to be apples and oranges as the electric airplane is designed as a 9-passenger commuter, not a full-size long-distance aircraft such as the 737. A more appropriate comparison aircraft is the Tecnam P2012, a current production 9-passenger commuter aircraft with a maximum cruising speed of 194 kts. The Tecnam is a popular replacement for aging Cessna commuter planes that are no longer in production.  

The full CNN article, with a video of Alice taxiing on a runway, can be found here.