Alice is an electric aircraft being developed since 2017 by Eviation Aircraft of Israel. A first flight is expected sometime in 2020, followed by a certification program lasting two to three years. Composite materials form 95% of the plane. It will be controlled by fly-by-wire (a system that replaces manual flight controls with electronic ones) and powered by three pusher propellers (facing backwards) , two on the wingtips and one at the rear of the fuselage.
Eviation was founded in 2015 by Omer Bar-Yohay, Omri Regev and Aviv Tzidon. Eviation teamed up with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) to launch a research and development program to start in the spring of 2019 at ERAU’s Prescott, Arizona campus. The program would focus on performance analysis, validation and testing, along with preliminary design and sub-scale testing of future electric propulsion and airframe design concepts.
Eviation has secured $200 million of investment to cover certification and production while the first prototype was assembled in Vannes, northwest France. This site was chosen, because it is the location of composite materials specialist, Multiplast. Other suppliers include: Honeywell is providing flight control systems, including automatic landing. Magnaghi Aeronautica will supply the landing gear. Kokam Company will supply pouch lithium polymer batteries to power the full-scale prototype. While Siemens 260 kW motors had been selected as a primary power source, MagniX Magni250s 280 kW motors were selected as a second power option. This ranking may change as MagniX owner Clermont Group from Singapore took a 70% stake in Eviation Aircraft in August 2019.
Charge vehicles, similar to aviation fuel trucks, would be used to charge the plane. Each hour of flight time was expected to require a charging time of 30 minutes.
The planes have a unit cost of $ 4 million. Currently, over 150 Alice aircraft had been ordered by two American companies. An investment of $500 million is needed to begin serial production.
|Cruise speed||445 km/ hour = 240 KTAS|
|Takeoff field length||914 m|
|Cruise altitude||ca. 3 000 m|
|Service ceiling||ca. 3 800 m|
|Range||540 NM = 1 000 km (+45min IFR reserve)|
|Occupants||9 Passengers (+ 2 crew)|
|Useful load||1 134 kg|
|MTOW (Max Take-Off Weight)||6 350 kg|
|Power||900 / 260 kW (peak/cruise)|
Battery & Operations
|Battery chemistry||Lithium Ion (NMC)|
|Battery weight||3,600 kg (~60% MTOW)|
|Direct operating costs||$200/ hour|