Eviation has declined to comment on media reports about the anticipated redesign of its all-electric Alice aircraft. On January 19, FlightGlobal published an image obtained from an undisclosed source that appeared to show a reworked version of the nine-seat model in which the current design’s pair of pusher propellers on the wingtips, and one on the rear end of the fuselage, had been replaced with two forward-facing propellers on the horizontal stabilizer of a T-shaped tail that is a departure from the current V-shaped configuration.
At the International Aerospace Innovation Forum on December 15, Eviation cofounder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay indicated that the prototype it now expects to start flying during 2021 will feature some modifications to the version it unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. However, when asked whether Eviation could confirm details of the redesign presented in the FlightGlobal report, a company spokeswoman said it did not have any information it would share on the subject.
The unverified image shown online bears a clear resemblance to the Alice, which was intended mainly as a regional airliner or business aircraft. Another apparent change is that it features wheels under each wing and one in the center of the fuselage, marking a departure from the original tail-dragger configuration.
Eviation intends to use three prototype aircraft for flight testing as it seeks to complete type certification under FAA Part 23 rules by the end of 2023. The program appears to have been delayed by around 12 months, largely due to disruption from a fire that badly damaged a prototype during ground testing in Prescott, Arizona.
Israel-based Eviation also has declined to comment on reports earlier this month in the Puget Sound Business Journal that the company has signed a lease for facilities at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Washington state. The location is around 15 miles north of the new headquarters in Everett for its sister company MagniX, which is providing electric motors for the Alice.
According to public records from the Arlington Airport Commission meeting on January 12, Eviation is due to sub-let several hangars from San Juan Aviation and make approximately $300,000 worth of renovations, including enlarged doors and interiors upgrades. The application was supposed by commission staff.
MagniX, which like Eviation is owned by the Singapore-based Clermont Group, confirmed this week that its new headquarters and production facility will be in Everett and that it has closed its operation in Australia. In November 2019, MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarksi was appointed chairman of Eviation. He holds the same position with Clermont Aerospace, which is the aviation division of the investment group.