First all-electric commuter plane takes flight – FOX13 News Memphis

MOSES LAKE, Wash. — History made history last week when the world’s first all-electric commuter jet made its first test flight over Washington state.

According to the Associated Press, if the Federal Aviation Administration certifies the small plane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial aircraft.

“The feeling here is electric. We are absolutely thrilled with what we have just achieved by successfully flying Alice for the first time,” Eviation President and CEO Gregory Davis told KIRO-TV.

Davis said the plane is built to carry nine passengers and one or two pilots, but it will be some time before commercial flights take off.

“In terms of time to market, the main thing that is going to happen to us is the development of battery technology. We are first seeing battery technology coming online to power the aircraft and mission profiles we want by 2027,” Davis told KIRO.

The plane, designed by engineers from Washington state and Israel, is powered by 21,500 small Tesla-like battery cells.

Davis said it would take several years for the plane to be certified by the FAA. He said 50% of all domestic general aviation flights are 500 nautical miles or less; Alice has a range of 440 nautical miles.

“Typically, you’re going to be flying for one to two hours in a plane like this, maybe a little less even, so it’s, you know, 150 to 250 miles, and that’s where we’re looking at to bring our product department,” Davis said.

With the success of the first test flight, Davis said the company would focus on reviewing the data to see how well it matched their models.

The plane’s name “Alice” was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s magical tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, according to the Seattle Times.

“It really ushers in a new era of aviation,” Davis told The Times. “This is the first step change in aerospace propulsion technology since we went from the Super Constellation to the 707, from piston engine to jet engine, and now to electric motor.”

Eviation hopes to prove electric planes are viable as flying commuter planes that would likely fly at an altitude of around 15,000 feet.

It’s technically not the first all-electric flight in North America. A de Havilland Beaver DHC-2 seaplane was fitted with MagniX engines, the same ones used on Alice, in 2019, according to the Times. Like Alice, it is not yet certified to carry passengers.

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