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Mexican airline signs up for 30 Eviation electric planes

Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation Aircraft added to its multibillion-dollar order book with a letter of intent from Mexico-based Aerus to purchase 30 of its all-electric Alice airplanes. Aerus is scheduled to start regional service later this year, with Monterrey as its regional hub, but it will have to wait several years for Eviation’s nine-passenger commuter planes to be delivered.

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Air New Zealand makes plans for electric planes

Air New Zealand has signed a letter of intent to order up to 23 all-electric Alice aircraft from Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation as part of its Mission NextGen Aircraft program to accelerate the switch to zero-emission flights. The deal makes Air New Zealand the first national flag carrier to put in a reservation for the nine-seater Alice.

In a statement, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said Eviation’s Alice is a “natural fit” for the airline’s plan to decarbonize its domestic flights, starting in 2026. An Alice prototype went through its first flight test in September, and Eviation plans to put the plane into service by 2027. Other electric aircraft manufacturers teaming up with Air New Zealand include BetaCranfield Aerospace and VoltAero.

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Australian airline orders electric planes for the Outback

It’s only fitting that 20 of Eviation’s all-electric Alice commuter airplanes are destined to be based in Alice Springs.

That’s the upshot of the Arlington, Wash.-based company’s deal with Northern Territory Air Services, a scheduled airline and charter aircraft operator that’s headquartered in the town known as the capital of the Australian Outback.

“Australia is recognized around the world for its breathtaking scenery, and adopting carbon-free technologies is fundamental to preserving the environment for future generations,” Ian Scheyer, the CEO of NTAS, said today in a news release announcing a letter of intent to acquire the planes. “Eviation’s all-electric Alice aircraft provides us with the opportunity to chart a sustainable path forward in connecting communities across the country.”

Alice is designed to take on flights ranging from 150 to 250 miles — which fits the parameters for many of NTAS’ flights. Scheyer said electric aviation will make it possible for his company to provide “cost-effective and convenient passenger and cargo flights across the Outback.”

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MagniX adds hydrogen to its carbon-free aviation menu

MagniX has been working on electric propulsion systems for years, but now the Everett, Wash.-based venture is adding hydrogen fuel cells to its power repertoire for carbon-free flight.

The expansion plan follows up on MagniX’s partnership with Universal Hydrogen, announced two years ago, and on last month’s initial flight test of an all-electric Eviation airplane equipped with MagniX’s 650-kilowatt motors.

Last year, MagniX and Universal Hydrogen said they’d work with Plug Power and AeroTEC to create a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash., where the Eviation flight test took place.

Today MagniX said it would start developing hydrogen fuel cells to complement its battery electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems.

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Evia Aero plans to buy 25 Eviation all-electric airplanes

Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation Aircraft says Evia Aero, a nascent European regional airline that’s based in Germany, has signed a letter of intent to purchase 25 of Eviation’s all-electric commuter Alice aircraft.

The airline hasn’t yet gone into service, but it eventually intends to use the nine-passenger Alice planes as its primary aircraft for point-to-point regional travel within Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands.

“Together with Eviation, a pioneer of electric flight, we will introduce a fleet of zero-emission aircraft that will transform the way we experience regional travel in Europe,” Florian Kruse, founder and CEO of Evia Aero, said today in a news release. “We are deeply committed to holistically transforming the aviation industry by implementing a complete cycle of local energy generation, storage, and flight operations.”

Gregory Davis, Eviation’s president and CEO, hailed Evia Aero’s commitment to electric air travel. “The creation of an all-electric European commuter fleet of Alice aircraft will advance an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable future of flight,” Davis said.

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Eviation’s all-electric plane aces its first flight test

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.”

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Eviation makes a deal to sell electric airplanes to GlobalX

Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation says that GlobalX, an air charter operator based in Miami, has signed a letter of intent to order 50 of Eviation’s all-electric Alice commuter aircraft.

The nine-passenger aircraft will open up new routes for passenger travel in GlobalX’s key markets in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, Eviation said today in a news release.

“The Alice aircraft will allow us to offer sustainable regional flights to and from major markets, and is the first step in our initiative to be a zero-carbon emissions airline by 2050,” said Ed Wegel, GlobalX’s chair and CEO.

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Eviation makes a deal to sell 75 electric airplanes

A Seattle-area venture called Eviation has struck a deal with Massachusetts-based Cape Air for the purchase of 75 Eviation Alice all-electric planes.

The letter of intent follows up on a claim that was made back in 2019 by Eviation’s then-CEO, Omer Bar-Yohay, who said Cape Air would be his company’s first customer. At the time, Bar-Yohay said the list price for the Alice commuter aircraft would be $4 million per plane — but Eviation said it’s not releasing financial details about the Cape Air deal.

Bar-Yohay left Eviation in February, citing “a longstanding disagreement” with the company’s main shareholder, Singapore-based Clermont Group. Longtime aerospace executive Gregory Davis took over as interim CEO for the privately held company, which is headquartered in Arlington, Wash.

Eviation has begun ground tests of an Alice prototype, and those tests haven’t always gone perfectly — which is to be expected with a totally new type of aircraft. In February, Eviation said Alice’s first flight test would take place “in the upcoming weeks,” but the company now says it plans to reach that milestone this summer.

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Astra and LeoStella make a deal for ion drives

Astra Space says it’s made a deal with Tukwila, Wash.-based LeoStella to provide multiple electric propulsion systems for LeoStella’s small satellites, with deliveries due to begin later this year.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

LeoStella is a joint venture between BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space that builds satellites for BlackSkyLoft Orbital and other customers. California-based Astra Space’s main business line has to do with launching rockets, but last year the company acquired Apollo Fusion, which makes electric propulsion systems.

Electric propulsion systems, also known as ion drives, can provide a gentle but steady oomph for spacecraft by shooting out beams of ions. The Astra / Apollo Fusion systems can make use of xenon or krypton.

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Eviation changes its team as electric flight test nears

Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation says Gregory Davis is assuming the role of interim CEO as part of a planned succession process that reflects the company’s transition to the production phase of its all-electric Alice aircraft.

Davis, who has been serving as Eviation’s president, will take the CEO baton from co-founder Omer Bar-Yohay. Just last month, Roei Ganzarski left the company with Dominique Spragg taking his place as chairman.

Eviation is moving forward toward certification and production readiness for three variants of the Alice airplane, optimized for cargo shipment, commuter passenger service and executive business travel. The aircraft already has undergone months of on-the-ground testing in Arlington.

“Eviation expects to make the first flight of Alice in the upcoming weeks, having completed many preliminary milestones including initial taxi and flight test preparations,” Spragg said today in a news release. “As we complete the technical demonstration phase, Eviation is now preparing for production to make affordable regional air travel a reality in the coming years.”