After taking delivery of the first electric propulsion unit (EPU) supplied by sister company MagniX, Eviation Aircraft said this week its all-electric Alice aircraft is slated to achieve first flight later this year. “The MagniX delivery is one of the key milestones in getting emission-free, low-cost, all-electric aviation off the ground with the first flight of the Alice,” said Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay.
According to Eviation, FAA type certification of the airplane is expected by the end of 2023. This is about 12 months later than initially targeted, with the delay largely caused by disruption from a fire that in January 2020 damaged an earlier prototype during ground testing in Prescott, Arizona. The source of the fire was traced to a fault in a ground-based battery system.
The company, which is now based in Arlington, Washington, claims Alice will be able to carry nine passengers more than 500 miles. Eviation would not comment on reports that the design has been changed—leaked images published online in January showed a reworked model with two forward-facing propellers on the horizontal stabilizer of a T-shaped tail. The original prototype had a pair of pusher propellers on the wingtips and one more on the aft fuselage.
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