ARLINGTON — Eviation Aircraft, an electric airplane builder with engineering facilities in Arlington, expects to test fly its first all-electric airplane later this year.
Last week the company unveiled its design for the production version of Alice, the firm’s all-electric, nine-passenger, two-crew airplane, which has has a targeted range of 500 miles.
“The aircraft produces no carbon emissions and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour,” according to a company statement.
Alice is powered by two electric motors designed and built by a sister company, magniX, which is now based in Everett.
The two aerospace firms, both working to develop fully electric aircraft, moved to Snohomish County last year and have teamed up to design the new plane.
“Sharing our production Alice design is a special day for Eviation and our partners,” Omer Bar-Yohay, Eviation’s CEO, said in a prepared statement.
“It also represents a final step in our iterative journey toward Alice’s first flight,” Bar-Yohay said. “Electric aviation will continue to open up new possibilities for affordable, sustainable regional travel around the world. Alice is poised to turn that possibility into reality soon.”
The plane’s fly-by-wire system is made by Honeywell and the battery system is made from currently available battery cells and does not rely on future technology, Eviation said.
Eviation revealed a prototype of Alice in 2019 at the Paris Air Show.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX and Eviation’s chairman of the board, said “Alice is a beautiful aircraft and represents the future of flying, plain and simple.”
“Add in zero emissions, less noise, and significantly lower operating costs, and communities will be connected like never before starting sooner than you think,” Ganzarski said.
Roughly half the cost of operating an airline is related to fuel and engine maintenance, according to OAG, an aviation and travel data firm.
It costs about $300 to $400 an hour to operate a commuter airplane using standard aviation fuel. By comparison, the cost to operate an electric plane is about $20 an hour, Ganzarski said.
Electric commuter airplanes with a range of about 500 miles could make short flights between, say, Everett and Pullman economically feasible. Data firm OAG estimates that 45% of all scheduled commercial flights are 500 miles or less.
Alice is expected to take its inaugural flight this year with testing to take place at Arlington Municipal Airport, Eviation said.
Eviation Aircraft, formerly based in Redmond, relocated to three hangars at the Arlington airport where it now has design, engineering and production facilities.
MagniX consolidated its Redmond headquarters and a research facility in Australia and moved into a 44,000-square-foot building near Paine Field in Everett.
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods