Electric planes for the Outback

Australia's Outback will be at the forefront of a carbon-free aviation future, under a new Letter of Intent signed between Alice Springs-based Northern Territory Aviation Services and US-based electric plane maker Eviation.

CARBON emission-free flying is set to come to the Northern Territory, with US Washington State-based Eviation confirming a Letter of Intent for the purchase of 20 Alice all-electric commuter aircraft from regional charter, scenic flight and scheduled operator Northern Territory Air Services (NTAS).

The Eviation Alice (pictured) is the “first flight-proven all-electric commuter aircraft of its scale”, with capacity for nine passengers or about 1,300kg of cargo.

The aircraft uses an electric propulsion system developed by a company called magni-X, and produces zero carbon emissions “and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops”.

The Eviation Alice has a typical flight operating range of 250km-400km, the manufacturer said.

Alice Springs-based NTAS provides a link for passengers connecting to and from remote ports to Alice Springs, Mt Isa and Ayers Rock airports .

The airline’s CEO, Ian Scheyer, said the new aircraft “provides us with the opportunity to chart a sustainable path forward in connecting communities across the country”.

The prototype Eviation Alice first flew in late Sep this year, with the aircraft continuing to undergo development and testing and a projected entry into service for the first plane in 2027.

Other carriers to have ordered Eviation Alices include DHL Express, Cape Air and GlobalX.

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