Creating aviation history, the first-ever fully electric commuter plane “Alice” from Eviation Aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight at Moses Lake, Washington, USA.
Alice lifted off on Tuesday at 4:10 pm CEST from Grant County International Airport (MWH), flying for a total of eight minutes and reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet.
“Our compliments to Eviation on the successful first flight of Alice! Completing its maiden flight confirms our belief that the era of sustainable aviation is here. With our order of 12 Alice e-cargo planes, we are investing towards our overall goal of net-zero emissions logistics. Alice’s range and capacity makes it a unique sustainable solution for our global aviation network, supporting our aspiration to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint and ultimately, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” John Pearson, CEO DHL Express, said.
Located in the US state of Washington – home to Boeing, Eviation is pushing the industry to reimagine regional travel. In addition to heralding a new era of transporting people, Alice could change how we transport goods regionally.
Eviation is not trying to develop massive electric aircraft like the Boeing 777 or the Airbus A350. Big commercial jets – designed to fly lots of people and cargo long distances – are likely several decades away from becoming fully electric, if it’s even feasible at all. The problem is that outfitting an electric cargo plane of that size with enough batteries to replace the fuel needed to power the jets would make the aircraft weigh so much that it couldn’t even take off.
However, smaller planes – used for regional travel or cargo – can be built with electric propulsion and will soon be among the many aircraft crisscrossing the skies. By 2024, we hope 12 of these planes of the future will form an unparalleled network of e-cargo air freight aircraft flying for DHL Express.