Eviation, an Israeli start-up, is looking to develop small electric aircraft for which the test flight is schedules for 2019.
Emphasizing that the electric plane is set to revolutionise commuter travel, the firm sees regional travel as underserved by aviation.
Eviation is developing a nine-passenger aircraft designed to fly up to 650 miles at around 240 knots (276 miles per hour). A commercial jet would cruise around 500 miles per hour. The electric plane is designed for the sort of distances usually conducted by train, said a CNBC report.
The company’s chief executive, Omer Bar-Yohay, told CNBC that there is a global need for short regional flights that current commercial aviation can’t fill. “If you want to travel 100 or 200 miles and there is a high-speed rail connection then you are lucky. If not you are sitting in the car and stuck in traffic as general aviation offers no solution.”
The full-scale prototype aircraft, which is named “Alice Commuter”, is expected to be ready for a test flight in first half of 2019. The next step would be to ramp up to commercial production.