All-Electric Plane 'Makes Aviation History'

Prototype 'flew and handled wonderfully,' test pilot says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 27, 2022 2:24 PM CDT
Prototype Electric Plane Takes First Flight
Alice, an all-electric airplane designed and built by Eviation, sits on the tarmac in Moses Lake, Wash., after taking its first flight Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.   (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP)

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state. If the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small airplane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial airplane, the Seattle Times reports. The plane, built by startup Eviation, was built to carry nine passengers and up two pilots and took off from Moses Lake, Washington, at 7:10am Tuesday, reports the AP. The plane, named Alice in a tribute to Alice in Wonderland, landed eight minutes later. Test pilot Steve Crane said the aircraft "flew and handled wonderfully."

The company's goal is to show such electric planes are viable as commuter aircraft flying at an altitude of about 15,000 feet. The plane, designed by engineers in Washington state and Israel, is powered by 21,500 small Tesla-style battery cells. Eviation CEO Greg Davis said the flight "made aviation history," though certification for passenger use is probably five years away, and advances in battery technology will need to be made before it is commercially viable. "It’s really ushering in a new era of aviation," Davis said. "This is the first radical change in aerospace propulsion technology, since we went from the Super Constellation to the 707, from the piston engine to the jet engine, and now to the electric motor."

(More aircraft stories.)

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