Eviation Electric Aircraft Prototype Damaged In Testing Fire


Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric Alice commuter prototype caught fire during ground testing at Ernest A. Love Field (PRC) in Prescott, Arizona, on Wednesday evening. No injuries were reported in the incident, which took place at approximately 6:30 p.m. local time. According to a news release from the City of Prescott, the fire department was on standby for the test and was able to extinguish the fire quickly. Airport personnel reported that normal operations resumed shortly before 9 p.m. and no commercial flights were disrupted.

Eviation said in a statement that it believes the fire may have been caused by a ground-based battery system. The extent of the damage to the nine-passenger prototype is not yet known. As previously reported by AVweb, Eviation planned to begin flight testing the Alice this year with goals of certification in 2021 and entry into service in 2022. It is not yet clear how the fire will affect Eviation’s timeline.

Video: PrescottNews.com
Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Very high currents and voltages.
    Any short or resistance becomes a serious problem.
    The fire department was on standby for the test?

  2. Boy, that thing would be a handful if one of those motors mounted at the wingtips ever stopped working. A failure is probably less likely than with a piston or turbine engine, but things can still break, like props, drive shafts, gears (if it uses those) etc.

  3. A friend is a volunteer fire fighter in a small town. He says that they’re under strict orders when a call involves any electric cars. Get the people out and let them burn … don’t try to put any fire out.

  4. yes Yars. that is a problem with solar panels on house roofs. How do you cut the power if something goes bad. The interrupter is usually in the attic. Can cause a nasty house fire. Been to one.

    • That is not a problem. I have solar on my roof and there are two points where the power cam be isolated. First the inverter is tied into my main breaker box through two 20 amp circuit breakers. Second, the inverter itself has a manual disconnect as well as internal circuit protection to cutoff on overload or any typical fault that might occur.

        • No way a fire happens in the collector. Individual cells on a panel are set up like a string of Christmas lights in a series. If one or two cells short out, the panel pretty much shuts down on its own. Unlike a battery, there is no stored energy so the failure mode is a loss of power, not a surge.