Electric aircraft developer Eviation has outsourced the design work for its nine-seat, all-electric Alice commuter airplane to TLG Aerospace, a Seattle-based engineering firm. As a subcontractor, TLG will develop the production configuration of Eviation’s Alice, the companies announced this week.
An Eviation spokesperson told AIN that while TLG will work on designing the production configuration of the aircraft, the company “is currently sourcing the key production partners who will work with us to build the aircraft.” They declined to comment on where the next Alice will be built. Eviation had previously sublet several hangars at Arlington Airport in Washington state, where the company is based.
Back in September, Eviation made history when a prototype of the Alice became the first fully electric commuter airplane to perform a flight test. That eight-minute sortie took place at Grant County International Airport (MWH) in Moses Lake, Washington. Now, more than 10 months later, the Alice has yet to perform a second flight.
The version of the Alice that flew in September may never fly again, as the company is doing some unspecified redesign work based on the results of that first flight test. “We will decide on the next flight based on the company’s needs as we work to develop a certification aircraft,” Eviation’s spokesperson said.
In May, Eviation CEO Greg Davis told AIN that the company intends to build three Alice aircraft over the next two years: one prototype and two production-conforming aircraft that it will use for FAA type certification testing. Eviation expects to have the Alice certified under the FAA’s Part 23 rules in 2027 when it plans to make the first deliveries to customers. The spokesperson said TLG will assist with the type certification efforts, but Eviation “will retain control over the aircraft type.”
According to Eviation, the all-electric, fixed-wing aircraft will have a range of about 250 nm on a single charge. Initially, the company was targeting a range of 440 nm, but it adjusted that number at the time of Alice’s first flight, citing the need for better battery technology than what is available today.
While Eviation hasn’t made much progress with its flight testing program since Alice’s debut flight, the company has been raking in orders from prospective buyers. It has reported multiple provisional sales to prospective operators that it says are worth around $4 billion.
Most recently, UK-based aircraft leasing group Monte signed a letter of intent covering the purchase of up to 30 Alice aircraft. Other customers include DHL Express (12 aircraft), Cape Air (75), Australia’s Northern Territory Air Service (20), Air New Zealand (23), Mexican regional airline Aerus (30), German regional airline Evia Aero (25), and Miami-based charter and cargo flight provider GlobalX (50).