Eviation is an Israeli aircraft company which believes in giving its customers a choice. About to be shown at the Paris Air Show in July, Eviation’s Alice will be offered with either Siemens motors or MagniX units. Air show visitors will see the craft with three Magnix 250 motors producing 375-horsepower each. Roei Ganzarski, MagniX CEO says “They’re going to have a fully functioning aircraft, their first of type, at the Paris Air Show. Our propulsion system is going to be on it.”
Eviation’s nine-seat Alice is a bit of a trip through the looking glass, looking like a futurist’s dream machine. The modern tri-motor features such light construction that it can carry three tons of batteries to provide 650 mile range. Ganzarski explains, “That means you can easily do Seattle-San Francisco or other significant-range flights. It’s a real long-range commuter aircraft.”
Why Two Different Motors?
Only a few months after announcing its use of Siemens motors on its Alice, Eviation says it has selected Redmond, Wash.-based MagniX to become a propulsion system provider. The company announced its partnership with MagniX on its Twitter page
In an interview with GeekWire.com, Ganzarski explains, “Once you can have an aircraft like the Alice that operates at such a low cost compared to traditional aircraft, and is clean, we both believe that will create a new type of market that doesn’t exist today. It won’t be filled by the regional carriers, but rather by new types of companies that will set up services for movement of either people or goods — for example, delivery companies — and they’ll be able to do that by air, covering more distance at a much lower cost than trucks can.”
According to Forbes.com, Eviation is working “feverishly” to prepare Alice for the Paris Air Show, June 17 through 23. Following its static display, the airplane will be transported to the United States to under flight testing and coordination with the FAA to prepare for certification. Headquartered in Israel, Eviation wants to have the plane certified by the end of 2021 and aims to start delivering the planes to customers in 2022.
Forbes reported in February, “The 35-employee company is getting its funding and supply chain squared away. It says it’s secured the roughly $200 million it needs to get through certification, and it announced Wednesday that it will source high-power electric motors from Siemens.”
Part of having two motor suppliers is to ease demands on the supply chain, so it added a Magnix option in late April. That choice may also relate to Eviation’s funding source.
Forbes reports, “The lion’s share of its funding is from Clermont Group, the private investment fund of Singapore-based billionaire Richard Chandler, which is giving Eviation $76 million in exchange for notes convertible to a 70% stake in the company, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated January 3.” Chandler has also invested heavily in MagniX.
MagniX has also partnered with Vancouver, B. C.-based Harbour Air, and plans to convert the 40-airplane fleet to electric power, starting with the regional carrier’s DeHavilland Beavers, expected to be electrified by late this year or early next year. This will be huge production ramp-up for the small motor firm, and will see their motors on a sleek new design and a 1950’s bush plane.
On the sleeker side, Eviation’s CEO Omer Bar-Yohay says, “We have been successfully testing the MagniX system with our Alice aircraft propeller for quite some time now, with great results. We will begin manufacturing battery-powered fleets this year for our U.S. regional carrier customers, with a value proposition that reduces their operating costs by up to 70 percent.”