MOSES LAKE, Wash. — After years of on-the-ground development, Eviation’s all-electric Alice airplane quietly took to the air here this morning for its first test flight.
Test pilot Steve Crane guided the nine-passenger aircraft, powered by two 640-kilowatt electric motors, through its takeoff from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, a facility in Eastern Washington’s high desert that’s often used for testing innovations in aviation.
When the motors revved up, they sounded like electric grass trimmers. And when the plane flew overhead, the noise was more like a hum than a roar.
Alice flew for lasted eight minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 3,500 feet before landing safely back at the airport.
So how was the ride? “It was wonderful,” Crane said. “It handled just like we thought it would. Very responsive, very quick to the throttle, and it came on in for a wonderful landing. I couldn’t be happier.”