The first medium-haul electric passenger plane has undergone its maiden flight. eViation’s Alice left the runway for a few laps at 1200 meters a week ago. A historic moment in aviation history.
In fact, as a follow-up to my blog about the aircraft factory at Teuge Airport, I wanted to report this to you a week ago. But as you may have seen and heard, I have been very busy these past few weeks with another part of my journalistic work, the Bijlmer disaster. For those who missed it: Multimedia production Disaster flight Can see more.
Anyway, more great news from the US, where an all-electric nine-passenger plane took to the skies for the first time. After years of preparation, Israeli start-up eViation put its Alice on the air on September 27. An electric plane has now taken off for the first time, after the two-seaters of Pipistrel and German Lilium’s air taxis, which are already flying at the flight school E-Flight Academy in the Netherlands. Scheduled services with eleven passengers over four hundred miles could be maintained in the future. That’s what I call very mature aviation.
In 2019, Aviation presented its Alice at the air show at Le Bourget near Paris. The aircraft will already make its first test flights in 2021. But the fire threw a spanner in the works. Regression was used to further refine the design. For example, instead of engines at the wing tips, two engines were placed near the tail. But otherwise the design remained mostly the same.
Better batteries please
Alice has him First flight An ordinary eight minutes flew by. They climbed to about 1200 meters and flew a few laps around the airport. They went smoothly, and the audience could hear that you could hardly or no longer hear the device. Electric motors are much quieter than jet engines and ancient propeller engines for commuters and locals alike.
Unfortunately, eViation had to push back the date for the first scheduled flights with Alice by two years, from 2025 to 2027. This is due to the delay in battery development. To achieve a flight range of at least four hundred kilometers, the batteries must become even lighter per kWh of electricity … Fortunately, a lot of work is being done around the world, because many electric planes, but certainly electric cars and what not.
Musk of the sky
The Alice will come in three variants: a nine-passenger and two-pilot aircraft, a luxury business model and a cargo version. The latter can carry up to 1250 kg of cargo and twelve of these have already been ordered by parcel carrier DHL. As said, Alice will have a range of 400 kilometers to begin with, but that should grow to 500. The device covers that distance in less than an hour with its maximum speed of 480 kilometers per hour. London, Paris, Hamburg and Frankfurt are just a few places you can visit within an hour.
A few years ago eViation came into the hands of New Zealand’s richest man, Richard Chandler. Along with his Clermont Group, he also bought MagniX, a maker of electric motors for aircraft. Those machines, of course, put Alice in the air last week. Sandler could become the Elon Musk of aviation. I wonder if he’ll also have his eye on one of the Dutch e-fly startups in the coming years.
Vincent Decker On his blog ‘Vincent Loves the Sun’, Vincent Decker highlights innovations and developments in the field of green energy, both near and far from home. Read more chapters at Trouw.nl/vincentwilzon. Vincent Decker has a podcast covering heat pumps. Ask for it by This link Or watch through well-known channels.
Electric planes steal the show in Paris
Until recently, electric flight was considered impossible by many experts. The reason is that the batteries are so heavy that if you put them on a plane, you can no longer carry passengers. But at the big Paris air show, electric planes stole the show this month.
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