GKN Aerospace has agreed to supply the wings, empennage, and electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS) for the Alice regional electric aircraft recently launched by Eviation, the companies announced Monday. The all-composite electric aircraft, designed to fly up to distances of 650 miles, will use distributed propulsion, high-energy-density batteries, so-called mission-driven energy management, and a new airframe tailored to such technological advances for regional flight operators.
In January, a prototype of the Alice caught fire during ground testing and was badly damaged. Eviation has declined to comment on when plans to start flight testing, which had been expected early in 2020, may resume.
GKN lays claim as the world’s multi-technology leader in the design and manufacture of lightweight aerostructures and EWIS systems. It serves as a partner in the Airbus ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ program and is a Tier 1 supplier of lightweight business jet empennages. As part of GKN Aerospace’s collaboration agreement with Eviation, design and manufacturing activities have already begun at Eviation’s Isreal facilities and in several GKN Aerospace engineering centers across Europe.
"The development of all-electric aircraft is ground-breaking; it’s a step-change in aviation and we are delighted to contribute,” said GKN president of civil airframes John Pritchard. “As technology leaders in wing, empennage, and EWIS design, we can bring unrivaled knowledge and expertise to the project.”