Last summer, KIRO 7 told you about a company in Arlington called Eviation, which is trying to create the world’s first all-electric jet.
At the time, construction and development were still underway but in the past week, KIRO 7 got a behind-the-scenes look at the nearly finished product.
The company is now hoping to make history with its plane called Alice, scheduling a test flight that will take place soon.
“We’re in the middle of bringing the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft to market,” said Gregory Davis, president and CEO of Eviation. “We’re coming up on our first flight in the next few weeks.”
Alice has battery technology similar to an electric car.
However, one stumbling block for creating electric planes has been battery technology.
The batteries are heavy but the planes need to be relatively light.
When KIRO 7 first talked with the folks from Eviation in August, we got a look at the space that would house the giant battery.
Since that time, Eviaton appears to have solved the battery issue.
The company is currently conducting ground tests and hope Alice will be able to fly safely.
“Electric aviation has arrived. The great thing with today’s technology, we’re able to make an airplane that can fly,” Davis said.
The plane can ferry cargo. DHL has already ordered a dozen Alice planes.
Developers told KIRO 7 that the plane can also have nine seats in a commuter configuration.
“I have three young children and I like to think that in 10 years they’re going (to) go flying on a plane and it’s not going to be, ‘that’s an electric airplane’ — they’re just going to go flying and the airplane is going to be electric,” said Davis.
Eviation is working to get its plane certified with the Federal Aviation Administration. That work is taking place in Arlington, which will play a key role when the history of all-electric aviation is written.
“We’ve grown from 40 employees at the site about a year ago to 110 today,” Davis said.
Alice has a range of 440 nautical miles.
Davis said 50% of all domestic general aviation flights are 500 nautical miles or less and Alice could fill that niche while cutting emissions and fuel use.
“We’re able to dramatically cut down the carbon footprint with our sector of aerospace,” said Davis.
Alice might be a first for aviation but it will not be the last electric plane.
“We’re very excited, you know, as far as the first flight, it’s time to fly,” Davis said.