Hartzell Propeller announced it has entered into a partnership with Eviation to produce customized propellers to drive the company’s electric commuter, an 11-seat airplane called Alice, currently in the development phase. The airplane will be powered solely by electricity stored in high-energy density batteries with motors spinning three five-blade carbon fiber pusher propellers approximately 65 inches in diameter that include nickel cobalt leading edges. The props have no life limits and will be attached aft of the tail and wingtips, a configuration the company claims enhances efficiency.
The technological advancements that go into Alice go beyond electric propulsion. The airplane will carry nine passengers 650 miles on one charge, Eviation says. It is expected to cruise at 240 knots and land autonomously.
“Hartzell is an industry icon in aviation for its innovative propeller designs,” said Eviation’s CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. "It is largely responsible for the two precursors to our battery-power engine – the turboprop propeller and the piston-engine, so we welcome them as a valued partner, as together we chart this new era of electric aviation.” Eviation expects the airplane to fly at the 53rd Paris Air Show in June of next year.
Eviation, an Israeli company, is a part of NASA’s on-demand mobility program and also the General Aviation Manufacturers’ Association’s and the FAA’s electric aviation committees. Eviation is also developing an all-electric drone called Orca.