A mark of progress for renewable vehicles happened on September 27, when the first all-electric passenger plane took off for the first time. The prototype was built with carbon-free aviation in mind.
The nine-passenger commuter aircraft is called Alice and took off from the Grant County International Airport in Washington State.
The plane was built by Arlington-based startup Eviation to demonstrate the potential for an electric commercial commuter aircraft flying a few hundred miles between cities at an altitude of around 15,000 feet. It’s powered by over 21,500 small Tesla-style battery cells that make up half the weight of the carbon composite airframe.
“What we’ve just done is made aviation history,” said Eviation CEO Greg Davis. “This is about changing the way that we fly. It’s about connecting communities in a sustainable way.”
“It’s really ushering in a new era of aviation,” Davis added. “This is the first radical change in aerospace propulsion technology, since we went from the Super Constellation to the 707, from the piston engine to the jet engine, and now to the electric motor.”
It could become the “first all-new, all-electric commercial airplane” if the Federal Aviation Administration certifies it to carry passengers, The Seattle Times reports.
The test flight lasted just eight minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet. Eviation, is targeting commuter and cargo flights between 150 and 250 miles.
“Today we embark on the next era of aviation – we have successfully electrified the skies with the unforgettable first flight of Alice,” said Eviation President and CEO Gregory Davis. “People now know what affordable, clean and sustainable aviation looks and sounds like for the first time in a fixed-wing, all-electric aircraft. This ground-breaking milestone will lead innovation in sustainable air travel, and shape both passenger and cargo travel in the future.”
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DONATE: The America Council on Renewable Energy or ACORE is an organization that highlights and supports renewable projects around the country. Consider donating.
SUPPORT: If you’re interested in the Alice project go ahead and take a deeper look.