MOSES LAKE, Wash — A prototype all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday out of Moses Lake.
The plane, called Alice, took an eight-minute flight at an altitude of 3,500 feet.
“Today’s first flight was absolutely amazing, we had the aircraft ready to go on time, we brought it into the field and were able to execute a nearly perfect first flight activity,” said Gregory Davis, President and CEO of Eviation.
The company says Alice produces no carbon emissions, significantly reduces noise and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops.
The company that built the plane, Eviation, is targeting the plane at commuter and cargo markets and aims to operate flights ranging from 150 to 200 miles.
"When you look at the breakdown of air travel globally, 50% of the travel is less than 500 nautical miles. When you look a little bit further, about 20% of all air travel is less than 250 nautical miles," Davis said. "So what we're doing is we're targeting that part of the market for our plane."
Eviation believes it can "dramatically reduce" the cost of air travel with its electric technology.
"We should be able to reduce the operating cost from point to point by as much as two-thirds versus a traditionally-fueled airplane," Davis said.
"Here in Moses Lake I believe it's about 12 cents a kilowatt for electricity, it's very inexpensive compared to aviation fuel. This will, coupled with the lower maintenance requirements for the electric motors in the aircraft and so on, it will reduce prices for travel."