Prototype electric plane from Israeli-American startup takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric aircraft took its maiden flight in Washington state Tuesday morning.

The commuter plane, named Alice, was created by Israeli-American startup Eviation.

The Seattle Times reported that if the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small plane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial aircraft.

Built to carry nine passengers and two pilots, the plane took off from Moses Lake, Washington at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday.

The aircraft reached an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,066 meters) and landed eight minutes later.

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The company’s goal is to demonstrate that such electric aircraft are viable as commuter aircraft for regional travel, flying at an altitude of approximately 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).

Today our all-electric Alice plane electrified the sky and embarked on an unforgettable first flight in the world. See Alice making history in the video clip below. We are honored to celebrate this groundbreaking leap towards a #more sustainable future.#electricaviation

— Eviation Aircraft (@EviationAero) September 27, 2022

The plane, designed by engineers in Israel and Washington State, is powered by 21,500 small Tesla-like battery cells that weigh more than 4 tons.

Eviation founder Omer Bar-Yohav praised the plane as a “new age of aviation” in an interview with The Times of Israel last year.

“We have a product that is sustainable, economically sustainable, cheap to run and maintain, and socially sustainable – this is a mode of transportation that people want to use,” said Bar-Yohay.

Electric motors and battery technologies are bringing about a “third era of aviation” in which “we have a maturity of elements and advanced materials, the social will and the financial capabilities,” Bar-Yohay said.

The company has also developed aircraft for cargo operations.

Eviation made a splash by debuting its technology at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

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