As the stunning, electric Eviation Alice lifts off, the wheels come up.

After showing off with some extravagant runway wheelies last week, Alice, the “world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft,” lifted off overnight on a historic first flight. It’s another major milestone toward zero-emissions medium-range air travel.

A historic moment for zero-emissions flight, as the 9-seat Alice commuter plane makes its first test flight Eviation

Alice took off at 7.10 am local time from Grant County International Airport in Washington state, and made a short, 8-minute circuit, reaching an altitude of 3,500 ft (1,067 m) before coming in and touching down.

Eviation President and CEO Gregory Davis said: “Today we embark on the next era of aviation – we have successfully electrified the skies with an unforgettable first flight. by Alice. “Now, people know for the first time how affordable, clean and sustainable aviation looks and sounds aboard an all-electric, fixed-wing aircraft. This groundbreaking milestone will lead to innovation in sustainable air travel and shape both passenger and cargo into the future.”

Eviation is targeting 2026 to get FAA certified and go live Eviation

It is indeed a pivotal moment, although there is still a way to go. The Alice we see flying in the video below is still a registered test prototype, not a fully certified production aircraft. Eviation still had to run it through a full and rigorous flight test regime, while also passing multiple rounds of FAA certification, not only for the aircraft and all its systems, but also for the company itself with as a design organization and manufacturing facility. The company hopes to solve this problem and have Alice up and running by 2026.

Alice’s spec sheet has also become a bit less impressive over the past year or so – when we reviewed it in May 2021, this nine-seat luxury machine was running a three-propeller propulsion system. fun and V-tails, and promising 506-mile (814 km) flights on a single charge. Now, the tail is T-shaped, with only two kickstands, the claimed range has been reduced to just 288 miles (463 km) and the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) has increased from 14,700 lb (6,668 kg). up 18,400 lb (8,346 kg). On the plus side, top speed is now increased from 253 mph (407 km/h) to 299 mph (481 km/h).

Alice completed an 8-minute test flight at up to 3,500 ft Eviation

Reduced range in particular will be a pain, as it will drastically cut down on the number of active routes Alice can handle. But Eviation says the machine’s quiet flight, zero emissions and extremely low operating costs compared to turboprop or light jet engines, will make a good case for it on board. passenger and cargo markets.

Watch the first flight in the video below, although you can’t hear anything behind the pre-existing music (Eviation provided a second copy of the video with no music, but that one is completely devoid of music). audio) and there’s a cut that gives you a headache near the bottom that makes us wonder why we didn’t get to see that part.

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