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Curtiss-Wright delivers flight test hardware for Eviation’s Alice all-electric aircraft

Curtiss-Wright Corporation has delivered the primary flight control actuators and control electronics to Eviation Aircraft for the all-electric Alice aircraft, as it prepares for first flight. Curtiss-Wright’s high-power density electromechanical actuators (EMA) provide Eviation with a modular, distributed solution that enables a flexible control architecture.

Alice is a small aircraft (9 passengers plus 2 crew) designed for commuting. Spec’d with an 820 kWh NMC battery pack, it is projected to offer a range of 440 NM (506 miles). Crusing speed is 220 kts, and the service ceiling is 32,000 ft.

Curtiss-Wright’s proven commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) EMA design delivers a lightweight, plug-and-play solution that helps reduce cost, schedule risk, and program risk.

EMA technology delivers benefits over traditional hydraulic approaches, such as superior reliability, improved energy efficiency and reduced weight for a wide range of aviation applications including flight controls, landing gear, and utility actuation.

Curtiss-Wright designs and manufactures its electric actuation products at its Shelby, NC facility.



I hope they succeed. The battery tech and cooling is key. The prototype battery fire needs to be designed out to 0% risk during flight. Perhaps the wing should even be designed to allow battery dumping via a thermal-structural fuse to eject burning battery modules.

Nothing is 0% risk, especially not flying. Agree that that the battery should be as safe as possible.

Your idea is intriguing, and I confess I have harbored it myself, but dumping a flaming battery seems like it only makes it someone else’s problem (maybe an entire community’s problem) unless you’re flying over water or the desert.

Otoh, allowing the pilot and passengers burn up on the way down does not actually solve anything either.

Aircraft would have to be designed very carefully to avoid weight & balance problems as you suddenly let go of 1k lbs or more.

Non flammable electrolyte seems the way to go. Good thing there are a lot of good companies working on that.

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