Eviation Reveals Alice Production Configuration

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Electric aircraft developer Eviation has unveiled the production configuration for its all-electric Alice aircraft. The Alice is powered by two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units, equipped with a single-volume, high-energy density battery system “made from currently available battery cells” and outfitted with a Honeywell fly-by-wire system. The aircraft will be capable of carrying nine passengers and two crew.

“Sharing our production Alice design is a special day for Eviation and our partners. It also represents a final step in our iterative journey toward Alice’s first flight,” said Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. “Electric aviation will continue to open up new possibilities for affordable, sustainable regional travel around the world. Alice is poised to turn that possibility into reality soon.”

According to Eviation, it is on track to fly the Alice for the first time later this year. The aircraft is expected to have a top cruise speed of 220 knots, 440-NM range and payload of 2,500 pounds. Eviation is aiming to have Alice certified and ready to enter service in 2024.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. 2400lb payload for 440NM. 16,500lb MTOW, 8,200lb battery. Projected $200/hr total operating costs. It’s not a STOL performer but as a commuter/air taxi those numbers look pretty useful. And that is with Tesla-type current battery weights.

    They’ve put in some hard yards in the real world but Paul’s recent PBS thing seems salient.

  2. Eviation has already built a prototype of Alice in 2017 so this is not vaporware, they are actually building something. And yes, I know it was destroyed in a fire but that is no reason to refer to their program as “vaporware”. Let’s not forget that Apollo 1 was destroyed during a test launch in 1967 killing all three astronauts inboard and two years later Apollo 11 successfully brought 3 Americans to the moon and back, despite the tragic loss of three heroes.

    I know all the nay-sayers here love to criticize every press release about electric aviation that is posted here, but electric aviation is clearly a movement that is attracting a lot of attention and money, and while 90% of these projects will likely fail, it’s extremely probably that a few companies will succeed, and Eviation is one of those companies that appears to be pretty well positioned to be successful. Evolution of new technology is always a lengthy process that has a long incubation period, but at some point new technology reaches an inflection point and experiences exponential growth. Battery technology is the obvious bottleneck in this process, and the meager 5% growth of energy density will likely see a breakthrough at some point when Li-Sulfur, Li-Air, or LiCO2 overcome their technical barriers. One thing I have learned is that when humans decide to put all of their energy and passion into something that seems impossible at the time that progress is always possible so long as the motivation and money are there to let it happen. And lately there seems to be no shortage of venture capital going into this space, so it may not happen in a year or two, or even 5 years, but it will happen so long as the money is around. I started my career in Information Technology just before the internet boom and heard all the arguments about there being no valid business model to prove that anyone could make money on the internet. Thousands of companies were formed and tons of money were poured into questionable ideas, and while 99% of those companies are long gone by now, the entire economy is now dependent on technology.

    Electric aviation is a field with the same momentum that the internet boom had in it’s very early years, so there is no reason to expect that someone will be successful and I expect to see electric aircraft in full commercial use in my lifetime (I am 51). Eviation is one of those companies that looks very promising. I think their expectations of flying a prototype by the end of the year are reasonable and if not this year, then maybe early next year. Will Eviation still be around 10 or 20 years from now? Who knows. More likely that they will build a few successful models and then be acquired by a larger company like Airbus or Embrear. But I fully expect electric aviation to be part of the future.

    • Years of history and hundreds of failed wishful thinkers in aviation prove every word you said wrong. There will be something to talk about when there is a flying prototype…Until then the should just keep quite and work.

  3. Perhaps rather than arguing about the viability of electric aircraft, when most of us have nothing at stake–we should LET THE MARKET PREVAIL! That’s right–“good old American Capitalism!”

    We could establish an “Electric Aircraft Futures Market”–betting on whether the proposed aircraft will actually fly–or be certified. Side bets could be made on whether the announced time lines were met–or projected performance figures (plus or minus ___percent?)

    This would enable those with “insider knowledge” to profit from their knowledge and research. It would also allow those skeptical of baseless claims to make money from their knowledge of the science or economic viability of the project by “shorting” the market.

    Since this economic market would likely be regulated by the government, there would be pressure on the producers of yet-to-be-certified aircraft to provide realistic estimates–and failure to do so would result in fines. After all, that’s the way MOST markets work–why NOT “Aircraft futures markets?”

    It may even make the possibility of some of these crafts MORE ABLE TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE THEIR CLAIMS by helping to raise money for R&D–but dissemination of false claims would result in disciplinary actions.

    EVERYBODY WINS! Speculators and true believers can play the new market–with a chance to reap a windfall if their insider information or hunch is correct. Those who believe it will NOT work can “short” the market. The purveyors of “yet to fly concept airplanes” will be held more accountable, but will attract more investment money IF their aircraft perform as promised.

    CAPITALISM–the GREATEST MOTIVATOR OF MANKIND!

    (only SOMEWHAT sarcastic!–smile)

    • Kinda like Al Gore’s cockamamie — albeit very profitable — Chicago Climate Exchange:

      forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/11/03/blood-and-gore-making-a-killing-on-anti-carbon-investment-hype/?sh=fabc9f132dc9

      Somebody will get rich and the rest WON’T have a “green” flying machine …

  4. Daniel, I appreciate your thoughtful reply, but I disagree. I simply don’t think that batteries, based on chemistry and the periodic table as we know it, will ever reach the point where they will be practical for long distance/high speed aviation.

    Even if it was possible to have battery powered electric flight, it does not change the fact that fossil fuel‘s remain cheap and plentiful and a major American resource that should be utilized for the strength in the building of our country.

    America is capable of maintaining energy independence, it’s just a matter of continued responsible development, drilling, and use of our God-given natural resources.