The Anonymous Widower

Could We See Eviation Alice Aircraft Flying Routes In The UK?

The Eviation Alice nine-seat aircraft may on the face of it, not have many applications in the UK.

But consider the following.

The Eviation Alice Could Be A Very Good Neighbour

Consider.

  • The three electric motors could be reasonably quiet.
  • The propellers are positioned in the vortexes created by the wing-tips and the fuselage.
  • The specification of the plane states that the  propellers can be adjusted for pitch and rpm to reduce noise.

Imagine a single runway airport for electric planes only.

It would be likely, that the noise footprint would be very small!

As the Eviation Alice, is replacing Cessna 401 aircraft at Cape-Air, I suspect that the Alice is designed to be able to use similar runways to the Cessna 401, which can easily land and take-off in a seven hundred metre runway.

This could mean that new runways could be built in places that would currently be rejected.

Would this open up these  possibilities?

New airports being created to serve towns with difficult road and rail links.

New runways close to major airports for electric low-noise aircraft only.

The Eviation Alice Doesn’t Have To Fly High

Typically airliners fly high and getting up and down takes a long time. But they don’t always have to fly that way!

A couple of years ago, I flew from Schipol to Southend. It was a clear day and the pilot flew directly across the North Sea at about three thousand feet and then straight in to Southend Airport.

We arrived very early.

I wonder, if as small quiet electric airliners get more common, that Air Traffic Control will develop ways of using their capabilities and quietness to create new routes.

Imagine flying from Norwich to Edinburgh, which is about 260 nautical miles in an Eviation Alice.

  • I have flown Ipswich to Edinburgh many times and it is uncluttered airspace.
  • You have to cross an airway at Hull
  • Youcan even follow the coast.

Flying lower could save time!

Electric Planes Will Get Bigger

To my mind, nine seats is not enough, but twenty would be useful on routes like the following.

  • Edinburgh And Wick
  • Glasgow and Derry
  • London and Derry
  • London and New Quay
  • Manchester and Derry
  • Norwich and Aberdeen
  • Norwich and Manchester

In some cases they could replace a more expensive full-size airliner.

I suspect that Eviation have the figures.

But suppose, you wee creating a bigger thirty-seat version of the Alice!

  • It would have another twenty-one passengers.
  • With baggage at 90 Kg a person, this would add a weight of under two tonnes.
  • The plane would need a larger volume, but the composite structure would mean only a small increase in weight.
  • The plane would probably have about a forty-percent increase in take-off weight.
  • So it would probably need a similar increase in battery capacity.

If battery energy density increases at three percent per annum, this would mean it would take about ten years.

 

The Eviation Alice Should Be Cheaper To Run Than A Thirty-Seat Aircraft

This could mean that the Eviation Alice could replace larger aircraft on thin routes.

The Eviation Alice Could Replace A Britten-Norman Islander On Some Routes

Some routes like the internal Orkney services probably aren’t suitable for an Eviation Alice, but I suspect others are.

The Eviation Alice Probably Needs A Proper Runway

I suspect that Eviation Alice aircraft need a runway with a firm surface, like concrete or asphalt, although some grass runways might be acceptable.

Feeder Services To Large International Airports

In England, there are not many of these routes, as there are usually trains or good roads.

But in Scotland, there are numerous services from the Far North and the Islands to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Conclusion

If the Eviation Alice is a success, expect to see them or similar electric aircraft in the UK.

Flying in one of these is on my bucket list!

 

June 19, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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