Eviation’s sleek, all-electric airplane demonstrator–dubbed Alice–reportedly completed a low speed taxi testing program this month at Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO), in Washington, north of Seattle, and is “gearing up” for its first flight “this summer.”
The FlightGlobal report, from the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE 2022) in Geneva, quotes interim CEO Gregory Davis, who said low-speed ground testing finished on May 2, with Alice achieving a maximum speed of 86 kts. High-speed taxi testing won’t be attempted until Alice has received an experimental permit to fly, Davis told FlightGlobal Tuesday.
In April, Eviation told FLYING it was conducting a parallel process of ground testing and safety board reviews. Based on the ground test results—Davis told FlightGlobal that Eviation has slowed down its timeline.
“When we completed the ground-test program, we found some things that we needed to tweak and that’s what we are working on as we prepare the aircraft for first flight,” Davis told FlightGlobal.
Eviation has said Alice was close to its first flight before. In January, former CEO Omer Bar-Yohay told FLYING that Alice was “days away,” from flight. Shortly afterward, Bar-Yohay stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Davis as interim CEO, who told FLYING in February, “We’re really close. A few weeks,” with the caveat, “Part of it is continuous optimism. Things come up. That’s why you test.”
Powered by twin, rear-mounted magniX650 electric motors, Alice has garnered quite a bit of attention across the nascent electric aircraft industry, as the Israeli startup attempts to develop and bring to market a viable, fully electric airplane for regional cargo and passenger flights.
First unveiled at the 2019 Paris Air Show, Alice is designed to seat nine passengers and two pilots. Maximum cruise speed: 250 knots. Range: about 440 nm. It has an MTOW of 16,500 pounds.
The project has already attracted at least one potential operator. In 2019, regional carrier Cape Air signed a provisional agreement to be the launch customer for Alice. The company firmed up that deal last April with an order for 75 Alice aircraft.