The first test drives of the Eviation Alice are about to start. The 9+2 seater, luxuriously designed small aircraft is powered by three electric motors and has promising parameters.
Experts are expecting a real price explosion in the private jet market as more and more manufacturers produce all-electric models. Their purchase price will inevitably be higher than their conventional counterparts (as electric cars cost more than those with internal combustion engines), but they will cost a fraction less to operate: up to 70-80% less, and they will not pollute the air when in use, not to mention the orders of magnitude lower noise and vibration levels that make the journey more comfortable.
The first truly luxurious representative of this emerging market could be the Eviation Alice, a two-person aircraft capable of carrying nine passengers. The 17.1 m long, 3.84 m high aircraft has a wingspan of 18.0 m. It is propelled by three electric propellers, one in each of the nacelles at the wingtips and a third at the end of the fuselage, the latter being used to create extra lift by accelerating the air flowing alongside the fuselage, so that the fuselage itself acts as a wing.
There is no information on the power of the electric motors, but the parameters of the battery pack are known: the total capacity of the lithium-ion unit is a formidable 820 kWh, which allows a range of 814 kilometres (plus the obligatory safety reserve.) The battery pack itself weighs 3720 kg, which is more than half of the maximum take-off weight of 6668 kg. The payload of the aircraft is still 1134 kg – that is, 100 kg per passenger.
The Eviation Alice has a cruising speed of 407 km/h, a maximum cruising altitude of 9760 metres and a runway of 793 metres. There is no information on the purchase price or when sales will start – the company is about to start test flights of the Alice – but it has already been revealed that Europe will be the primary market for the Alice, along with the US.