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  • This is the world's first full sized all electric passenger plane.

  • Her name is Alice.

  • Now she isn't the first attempt at an electric passenger plane.

  • Previous attempts looked like this.

  • A glider or naled seaplane retrofitted with an electric engine.

  • But Alice is different.

  • The aviation Alice is a nine passenger to crew, all electric commuter aircraft.

  • This aircraft is built from the ground up to be electric.

  • It's not a conversion of anything.

  • Israeli Aeronautics Company Aviation started work on Alice back in 2015 and debuted the plane in June 2019.

  • Its goal.

  • To find a sustainable way to move people regionally.

  • Air travel is one of the fastest growing contributors to climate change and even mid pandemic.

  • When travel has dipped the airline industries, carbon footprint is still outpacing predictions.

  • Regional travel is a big component of that footprint.

  • In 2017 half of the four billion air tickets sold were for regional flights, even though these were short distances, the aircraft used were huge jet planes built across oceans.

  • That's an insanity because we're using the wrong tools for the job.

  • Alice might be a solution for these popular commuter routes.

  • Think New York city to D.

  • C, or even up the West Coast between San Jose and San Diego.

  • The plane is built to fly up to 650 miles on just one charge of its lithium ion battery the distance from London to Prague.

  • And it's designed to carry passengers at cruising speeds of about 276 MPH.

  • Now that's about half assed fast as Jet Field planes.

  • So a one hour, 10 minute flight from New York City D.

  • C.

  • Would be about 2.5 hours on Alice.

  • But Alice could do that.

  • Journey emissions free It seems ideal, but engineers faced a few challenges.

  • While building Alice, it has a huge battery.

  • We have roughly 3.6 metric tons of battery over £8000 in electric cars.

  • A batteries wait isn't as much of an issue because cars stay on the ground.

  • But in a plane trying to get in the air with a heavy battery becomes a challenge.

  • The bigger the battery, the more power for the plane.

  • But a bigger battery also means more weight toe lift, so more power is needed to get it in the air in normal airplanes.

  • An estimated 30% of the plane's maximum take off weight is jet fuel, and that weight lessens over time as jet fuel is burned while in the air.

  • But for Alice were roughly at 60% of maximum take off weight, meaning 60% off the plane.

  • When it takes off is better.

  • It's the same when it lands.

  • We don't lose anything.

  • So aviation had two solutions for a heavy battery.

  • Engineers distributed the battery throughout the plane that batteries literally all over the place.

  • It's under the floor.

  • It's in the wings, in the fuselage, in different locations.

  • Then they balanced out the batteries.

  • Sheer weight.

  • The way to do it is just to build everything else very light.

  • Alice has a lightweight airframe, slim wings and wing tip propellers.

  • It has a lifting body, which means it looks like a for lack of a better description and upside on boat.

  • All of those features were built to create a more efficient airframe at Cruz.

  • Another key feature that sets Alice apart is its lift to drag ratio, or how much lift the wing generates compared to how much drag it creates.

  • Moving through the air.

  • A regular plane has a lift to drag ratio of 17 to 1.

  • For Alice, that rate is 25 to 1, meaning it's more aerodynamically efficient and uses less energy getting into the air for future passengers.

  • All this environmentally conscious innovation means a lot less travelers.

  • Guilt.

  • I think it's important that the industry looks at its responsibility to the planet and makes itself more sustainable in terms of emissions.

  • But it needs to work economically.

  • Some players in the industry say electric planes could mean 40 to 80% lower airfares.

  • That's because it doesn't cost as much to operate an electric plane.

  • Aviation's Alice costs about $200 per flight hour to operate.

  • A similarly performing turboprop would cost between $1,202,000 per flight hour.

  • But in order to be truly sustainable, Omar says, people have to actually want to fly electric.

  • This needs to feel like a plane you want to use daily.

  • So how does Alice do that?

  • Designers wanted the windows to be big enough to increase visibility, and they added stability technology to help with turbulence.

  • Plus, Alice's electric engine is practically silent.

  • This plane is dramatically less noisy, about two orders of magnitude less noisy than an equivalently sized aircraft.

  • I think it could change the way we treat airports.

  • Despite testing hiccups in early January, Omar estimates the plane will be certified by 2022.

  • US based airline Cape Air has already decided to buy the aircraft at $4 million per plane.

  • Three airline plans to introduce Alice into its fleet serving regional routes from Boston to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard on up into New Hampshire and New York.

  • In the very beginning, it was extremely difficult to convince partners, clients, anybody investors that were not delusional.

  • Today it feels like everybody is on board and this is where the industry should go.

  • The industry is beginning to notice that there is really a tectonic shift here.

This is the world's first full sized all electric passenger plane.

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