The Alice, the world’s first all-electric passenger aircraft, is about to take off.
The Alice engine was tested at Arlington Municipal Airport north of Seattle last week by Israeli company Eviation.
According to the CEO of Eviation, Omer Bar-Yohay, the Alice will fly in just a few weeks.
Alice is a battery-powered aircraft designed by the electric aviation company Eviation.
The nine-passenger Alice will be able to fly for over 818 kilometres in one hour thanks to a battery technology similar to an electric car or cell phone and 30 minutes of charging.
With a maximum cruise speed of 250 knots, or 460 km per hour, the plane is almost half the speed of a Boeing 737, which can travel at 946 km per hour.
Electric planes that can accommodate 20 to 40 people could be available in seven to 10 years, according to the company, which is exclusively focused on electric air travel. A prototype of the aircraft, which debuted in 2019, has been undergoing low-speed taxi tests since December and is expected to attempt a high-speed taxi test in the coming weeks.
A plane is sent down the runway at a variety of speeds to test its own power and enable ground teams to monitor systems such as steering, braking, and anti-skid.
While the company had hoped to fly the Alice before 2022, poor weather in the Pacific Northwest at the end of the year prevented testing.
Eviation has developed three versions of the prototype: one for commuters, one for business executives, and one for cargo.
Nine passengers and two pilots can travel in the commuter configuration, and 385 kilograms of cargo can be carried.
For a more spacious flight, the executive design has six passenger seats, while the cargo design holds 12 cubic metres.
Eviation claims that all of this can be accomplished while reducing maintenance and operating costs of commercial jets by up to 70 percent.