Electric Aircraft Takes Flight

September 30, 2022
September 30, 2022 Hal Jordan

Electric Aircraft Takes Flight

Different types of electric aircraft have been under development for years. On Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Eviation Aircraft flew its all-electric Alice prototype. The plane took off from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. It flew for 8 minutes, reaching a height of 3500 feet.

Alice, named after the character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, is a proof of concept prototype, not yet certified to carry passengers. The prototype is designed to carry 9 passengers and one or two pilots, but a different design will be built later for production. Current projections show flight tests beginning in three years and certification two years later, with the final product entering into service in 2027.

The only electric aircraft certified for flight to date is the Velis Electro, a two-seater built by Pipestrel in Slovenia. Textron, the maker of Cessna, Beechcraft, and other small aircraft, purchased Pipestrel in April, 2022. Other companies like Joby, Wisk, and Vertical Aerospace, are developing short range electric urban taxis. Italian manufacturer Tecnam is working on a nine-passenger electric aircraft, with first flight planned for 2026.

Sweden’s Heart Aerospace had been planning a 19-passenger electric plane, but in September, 2022 they announced that they scrapped that plan. They are now working on a 30-passenger “hybrid electric” battery-powered plane with backup turbine generators that will provide more range. But flying more than nine passengers requires a second pilot, and that involves a cost increase.

Greg Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Eviation Aircraft, says that the 9-passenger Alice is the “sweet spot” for commercial electric-powered flight. The ability to land at any municipal airport within 200-300 miles will create new markets. Alice’s maximum range is 440 miles, but that number is dependent on terrain height, weather, and wind.

Eviation has “letters of intent” for about 140 aircraft so far. Increasing air transportation opportunities while reducing air pollution seems to be a good goal.


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The United Federation Starfleet Blog is written by Captain Hal Jordan and is published every Friday. Join in the discussion! Engage with us on Discord at: discord.io/ufstarfleet


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