The Anonymous Widower

Orders For The Eviation Alice Pass US$ 2 Billion

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Eviation.

This is the first paragraph.

Eviation Aircraft, a manufacturer of all-electric aircraft, today announced that the order book for its world-leading nine-seater all-electric Alice airplane has passed a total value of US$ 2 billion.

$2 billion is a tidy sum and I suspect it ensures that they can now concentrate on its certification program on the way to completing Entry into Service (EIS).

It looks like the day, I will fly in an electric aircraft has come closer.

November 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

EVIA AERO Orders 25 Eviation Alice Aircraft

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Aviation Source.

The Wikipedia entry for the nine passenger Eviation Alice lists these orders.

The EVIA AERO order brings the total to 162.

The larger thirty passenger Heart Aerospace ES-30 is reported in Wikipedia to have 230 orders and a hundred options, with more letters of intent.

Companies, who have proposed to buy the ES-30 include Air Canada and United Airlines.

These are substantial numbers of aircraft and they convince me that one or both of these aircraft will fly fare-paying passengers before the end of the current decade.

 

October 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

‘It Was Wonderful’: Eviation’s Alice Electric Airplane Wins Praise After Its First Flight Test

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on GeekWire.

The long-expected first flight of Eviation Alice has happened.

The flight was only a short one and was described like this in the article.

Alice flew for eight minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 3,500 feet before landing safely back at the airport.

There is also a video in this article on Electrek, which is entitled Watch Eviation’s All-Electric Alice Aircraft First Flight.

This is an important milestone in the history of aviation.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Aerospace Electrified By New Technology

The title of this post, is the same as of this article on the BBC.

The article is a good summary of the state of zero-carbon aviation.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eviation Says Cape Air Will Take 75 Alice Aircraft

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Flight Global.

Orders in the Wikipedia entry for the Eviation Alice says this.

The first buyer for the Alice was Cape Air, a regional airline serving the Northeastern United States as well as the Caribbean. In August 2021, Deutsche Post announced that it had ordered 12 aircraft for use by DHL to transport cargo, with delivery planned from 2024. In April 2022, Eviation stated that Cape Air ordered 75 planes.

It does look like this innovative aircraft could be ready for more than just a first flight.

Applicability To The UK

I have a feeling, that we’ll see a lot of five-to-nine electric aircraft in the UK, as we have lots of islands and quite a lot of small airports.

The Alice has a range of around 500 miles, which is useful, but the take-off run of 800 metres could be a limitation on some islands.

Conclusion

I can’t wait to fly in an Alice.

April 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The ZEROe Demonstrator Has Arrived

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Airbus.

This is the introductory paragraph.

2022 marks a new and exciting phase for ZEROe – Airbus’ ambition to develop the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. The multi-year demonstrator programme has officially been launched with the objective to test a variety of hydrogen technologies both on the ground and in the air.

The ZEROe demonstrator will be the first Airbus A 380 aircraft and it is shown in this Airbus visualisation.

Note.

  1. The four hydrogen tanks in the fuselage.
  2. The fifth engine mounted in a pod on the fuselage.
  3. There’s certainly lots of space inside the fuselage for more hydrogen tanks and test and monitoring equipment.

I have a few thoughts.

This Aircraft Will Be A Superb Demonstrator

The press release says this about the use of an A 380 as a demonstrator.

The A380 is the world’s largest and most spacious passenger jet ever built – a size that makes it ideally suited to the role of test platform.

Today, the A380 MSN1 test aircraft is earmarked for a new role: to take the lead on testing the technologies that will be vital to bringing the world’s first zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

“The A380 MSN1 is an excellent flight laboratory platform for new hydrogen technologies,” says Mathias Andriamisaina, Airbus ZEROe Demonstrator Leader. “It’s a safe and reliable platform that is highly versatile to test a wide range of zero-emission technologies. In addition, the platform can comfortably accommodate the large flight test instrumentation that will be needed to analyse the performance of the hydrogen in the hydrogen-propulsion system.”

Initially, I suspect the aircraft will fly as a four-engined turbofan aircraft running on standard or sustainable aviation fuel.

The performance of the hydrogen engine will be tested in all phases of operation and at different altitudes.

What Size Is The Fifth Engine?

This layout is clever.

If Airbus want to test a smaller hydrogen engine for say an Airbus A 320-sized hydrogen aircraft like the ZEROe Turbofan shown in this Airbus visualisation, they fit it to the fifth pylon.

Note.

  1. The fifth pylon on the ZEROe Demonstrator could be the proposed pylon for the ZEROe Turbofan.
  2. The ZEROe Demonstrator could probably carry a lot of hydrogen to test out the hydrogen engine over a long duration.
  3. The hydrogen engine could be tested out over the full flight envelop of an Airbus A 380.

I would suspect that the tests on the hydrogen engine would be some of the most comprehensive ever carried out on a new engine.

If Airbus want to test a larger hydrogen engine for say an Airbus A 350-sized hydrogen aircraft, they would probably replace one of the four main engines with the hydrogen engine.

It looks like Airbus will be able to test hydrogen engines for all sizes of plane in their current range.

What Will Happen To Current A 380s?

Consider.

  • The production of the A 380 has been stopped.
  • There are 251 aircraft in service.
  • They appear to be a reliable and safe aircraft.
  • The aircraft can run on sustainable aviation fuel.
  • The oldest aircraft are only thirteen years old.
  • They are still reasonably modern aircraft, that if they needed to be updated to the latest standards could probably be easily done so.
  • The aircraft have a lot of volume, which can hold over 500 passengers in a typical configuration.
  • The flying characteristics and structure of the aircraft is well known.

I suspect there are a lot of aircraft leasing companies, who feel these aircraft are too good to scrap, just because they are not zero-carbon.

Could Hydrogen Be Stored In The Wing Of An A 380?

Hydrogen storage will get more capable in the next few years and we will see hydrogen stored in strange places in vehicles and aircraft using the gas as a fuel.

The A 380 may well have an advantage in that its wing is relatively thick compared to that of other airliners.

  • The A 380 has a wing aspect ratio of 7.53.
  • The Boeing 787 has a wing aspect ratio of 11.
  • Gliders have wing aspect ratios as upwards of 30.

High aspect ratios are generally more economical on fuel.

But this relatively thick wing, may make it possible to store hydrogen in the wing of an A 380.

Could There Be A Hydrogen-Powered A 380?

I suspect part of the Airbus ZEROe progam will be to investigate the possibility of converting existing A 380 aircraft into a capable hydrogen-powered aircraft.

In Could An A320 neo Be Rebuilt As A ZEROe Turbofan?, I looked at the possibility of turning an existing Airbus A 320 neo into a ZEROe Turbofan running on hydrogen.

This was my conclusion.

I very much feel that there will be a route to convert some or all of the A 320 neo aircraft to hydrogen power.

So what will a ZEROe A 380 look like if it follows the same design route as an A 320 neo to a ZEROe Turbofan?

  • There would be a large hydrogen tank in the rear fuselage.
  • As I explained earlier, there may be a possibility for some hydrogen to be stored in the wing.
  • Both passenger decks would be shortened and perhaps be able to hold the 350-410 passengers of the Airbus A350-1000.
  • The cockpit, front part of the fuselage, wings, tailplane and landing gear would be unchanged.
  • The aircraft would fit existing jetways at any airport, that can handle an existing A 380.

 

I believe that converting an existing Airbus A380 to a hydrogen-powered aircraft is possible and the conversion falls within Barnes Wallis‘s rule of problem solving.

There is no greater thrill in life, that proving something is impossible and then showing how it can be done.

The quote comes from a BBC program, where he was interviewed by Chris Brasher, who was another for whom impossible was just a minor hurdle in the way of meeting objectives.

Could There Be A Hydrogen-Powered A 380 Freighter?

Consider.

  • I think it is likely, that companies like Amazon will come under pressure over their carbon footprint, as they transport increasing numbers of packages around the world.
  • In DHL Express Shapes Future For Sustainable Aviation With First Order Of All-Electric Cargo Planes From Eviation, I talk about how DHL Express have ordered twelve Eviation Alice aircraft to create a zero-carbon service. DHL must feel this would be good for their image. So would they like an intercontinental zero-carbon freighter?
  • Some people worry about the air-miles on their food!

There could be a worthwhile niche market for a high capacity intercontinental zero-carbon freighter.

Because it has such a large internal volume, an Airbus A 380 might make an ideal aircraft to convert.

Conclusion

Airbus will learn a lot from the ZEROe Demonstrator.

They may even learn how to develop, a long-range hydrogen-powered zero-carbon A 380 variant that could carry four hundred passengers between Europe and Australia.

 

 

April 10, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alice, The First All-Electric Passenger Airplane, Prepares To Fly

The title of this post, is the same as this article on CNN.

It looks like the first flight is just weeks away.

This paragraph describes the aircraft and compares it to a Boeing 737.

With battery technology similar to that of an electric car or a cell phone and 30 minutes of charging, the nine-passenger Alice will be able to fly for one hour, and about 440 nautical miles. The plane has a max cruise speed of 250 kts, or 287 miles per hour. For reference, a Boeing 737 has a max cruise speed of 588 miles per hour. The company, focused exclusively on electric air travel, hopes that electric planes that can fit 20 to 40 passengers will be a reality in seven to 10 years.

Fully electric flight on short routes is a lot closer than we think.

Note, that 440 nautical miles will give sufficient range from London to Amsterdam, Belfast, Cork, Frankfurt, Inverness and  Paris.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

CEO: Alice Electric Commuter Airplane’s First Flight Days Away

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Flying Magazine.

The Eviation Alice prototype has certainly been spotted taxiing on the runway and the CEO has said it won’t be long before the first flight.

I have a feeling that this aircraft is going to be a winner.

  • It’s got a lightweight structure.
  • The aerodynamics look to be right.
  • It has received firm orders from quality companies, like Cape Air, DHL and United Airlines.
  • It would be the ideal corporate aircraft for the green billionaire who wants a toy!
  • It looks sexy like Concorde.

I also think that the range, performance and capacity could fit travel patterns well in the UK and Ireland.

Conclusion

I’m looking forward to my first flight.

January 11, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak Defends Lowering Domestic Air Duty

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first two paragraphs.

The chancellor has said his Budget – including tax cuts to air tax – will help the government meet its net zero carbon targets.

Rishi Sunak used his Budget to slash taxes on domestic flights, which is forecast to lead to 400,000 extra air journeys a year.

I think he could have gone further.

It is my belief that the first area of aviation to decarbonise will be the short-haul sector.

We are seeing electric aircraft being developed like the Cessna Electric Caravan, Eviation Alice and Project Fresson.

Perhaps, domestic flights in true zero-carbon aircraft like these should be free of Air Passenger Duty?

It might even speed their introduction.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli All-Electric Plane Maker Readies For 1st Flight, New ‘Age Of Aviation’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Times of Israel.

It is a comprehensive progress report on the Eviation Alice.

The big news is that the first flight is expected before the end of the year.

September 13, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment