What’s Eviation’s Alice Up To Lately?

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Eviation puts its intentions front and center on its web site.  “OUR VISION: To launch a new era of more sustainable, scalable, and affordable transportation.”

They follow this up with, “OUR MISSION: To build beautiful electric airplanes using advanced technology and impeccable design, imagined and built by a committed and expert workforce.”

And Alice did fly a beautiful test flight on September 27, 2022 – and since then it’s not flown again.  According to FlightGlobal.com, Alice’s makers felt the single flight was enough to have “generated terabytes of data.”

Gregory Davis, then the company’s CEO stated, “What we have been doing is focusing on what we need to get the airplane to the next stage. We don’t need to fly the aircraft again and again [at this point] – let’s focus on advancing the design.”

With certification perhaps four years away, then CEO Davis seemed to indicate everything was open to change, including the MagniX motors that had powered the only flight.  MagniX is headquartered only 15 miles away from Eviation’s Arlington, Washington facilities.

(Pretty Much) Same Airplane, Different Management

After undergoing a radical change from a tri-motor pusher configuration in its initial appearances, Alice became a twin-motor craft with powerplants on rear-fuselage-mounted pods.  The propellers face forward.  That same configuration continues with the current edition, but with “subtle updates” to the shape of the aircraft.  Eviation says, “If you put the prototype next to the production version, you will not see any radical changes.”  These changes took place while the company was still guided by its founders, Omer Bar-Yohay and Aviv Tzidon, both former members of the Israeli Army.

Alice in its original configuration with three motors and all pusher propellers

Most changes will be to expedite production of the aircraft, with manufacturability a prime consideration.  500 potential orders in the form of Letters of Intent indicate a conditional acceptance of the airplane based on its achieving certification and meeting budget and delivery terms.

A new CEO this year, Andre’ Stein previously co-founded and served as CEO of Embraer subsidiary Eve Air Mobility, which makes a multi-rotor eVTOL.  That electric Vertical Take Off and Landing vehicle is intended to shuttle passenger to and from major airports, where it and other eVTOLs might provide connections between urban areas and outlying airports.  Connecting with smaller regional airports would enable shorter flights in craft such as Alice.

Alice’s ability to fly from runways under 2,500 feet long broadens the choice of destination and allows expansion of service to smaller towns and exurban areas.

Eviation’s Alice will retain most dimensions and performance in production versions

Stein will take over from interim CEO Gregory Davis and guide the company through development of Alice’s production design and facilities, a task shared with TLG Aerospace, a Seattle-based firm.  TLG will oversee the production configuration of Alice.

With $5 billion in potential orders awaiting fulfillment of its promised 260 knots (299 mph), 250 nautical mile (287 statute miles) and ability to fly a 2,500 pound payload, Alice could be a significant revenue enhancement for regional airlines and a winner for Eviation.

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