All-electric plane will soon take flight in Arlington – Everett Post
Arlington Municipal Airport is about to step onto the world stage. The world’s first all-electric passenger plane, dubbed Alice, is about to take flight. Last week, the plane developed by the Israeli company Eviation underwent engine tests. Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said Alice was just weeks away from her first flight. All eyes will be on Arlington when this first flight takes flight.
The aircraft is powered by batteries, a technology similar to that of a cell phone or an electric car battery. Just 30 minutes of charging and the nine-passenger Alice will fly for about an hour. This flight will cover nearly 440 nautical miles and fly as fast as nearly 290 miles per hour (250 knots) at cruising altitude. By comparison, a Boeing 737 has a top-end cruise speed of almost 590 miles per hour.
Eviation has developed three prototype aircraft. There is a shuttle version, a cargo version and an executive version. The commuter plane currently being tested can carry nine passengers with two pilots and 850 pounds of cargo. The cargo version can hold 450 cubic feet of volume, while the executive jet seats six with 450 cubic feet of cargo volume.
The company is solely focused on electric air travel, with expansion plans in 7 to 10 years of aircraft seating 20 to 40 passengers. Being fully electric, the company says maintenance and operating costs for commercial aircraft are expected to drop by up to 70%.
The CEO of Aero Consulting Experts notes: “The stumbling block is battery technology, just like in cars, but even more so in airplanes. That’s because with airplanes, the concern is weight. As soon as we have better battery technology, which I think will happen in two or three years, that’s when all these electric planes will come.
Beyond battery technology, other challenges lie ahead. They include Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines and regulations, the ability to fly longer distances such as transoceanic flights, and the passenger capacity of airplanes. As Aimer said, “The first step would be to try them in a commuter market or a charter market.” Bar-Yohay added: “Once we start seeing planes like this, the whole way we look at where we live, how we get around, how we go on vacation, will change. It will be a high-speed trackless train.
And in the coming weeks, all eyes will be on Arlington as the test passenger plane makes its first flight. Will flying cars be next?