Originally Published: July 28, 2018 4:07 p.m.
An Israeli airplane manufacturer that is poised to start production on the world’s first all-electric powered regional transport aircraft will make Prescott its U.S. base of operations, a company representative said via email on Wednesday, July 25.
Eviation Aircraft is in development of its “Alice” battery-powered airplane, which it plans to have in the air next year.
The first version of the Alice is designed to be a competitor to the Cessna Caravan, with a similar number of passenger seats — nine — and will cruise at about 300 mph over 650 miles; the second will be an executive model, planned for introduction in 2022.
The Alice, made of composite materials, sports a unique three-propeller system, with one on each wingtip and the third mounted in the tail.
Prescott move in the works for a year
Prescott’s Community Outreach Manager John Heiney said Eviation came to Prescott about a year ago. Company executives have visited Prescott three times, and had “extensive discussions” with city leadership, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Yavapai College, and other stakeholders.
The City Manager’s Office, City of Prescott Economic Development Office, and Economic Development consultant Jim Robb worked with the company to line up local support, connect them with stakeholders, investments, and commercial space, Heiney added.
Robb said in an email Wednesday that he would be meeting with Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2018 event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this week. He added that Embry-Riddle Chancellor Frank Ayers would also meet with Bar-Yohay in Oshkosh.
Embry-Riddle spokesman Jason Kadah said the school’s “goal would be to offer (Eviation) top-notch interns and graduates. Additionally, many of our students would love to stay here in the Prescott area post-graduation if they were able to secure the types of jobs Eviation could offer.
“We feel it would be a win-win for all parties involved,” he said.
“Prescott is a city that prides itself on nurturing high-tech talent and creativity,” said Mayor Greg Mengarelli. “Bringing Eviation’s headquarters to Prescott is a win-win. It leverages our incredible talent pool, while acting as an economic engine and solidifying Prescott’s position as a city at the center of innovation within the aviation industry.
“We are thrilled with the announcement that Eviation will be locating in Prescott,” Mengarelli added. “This company will elevate us to a new level of tech industry bringing high-paying jobs to our city.”
An Eviation company representative said she would respond to The Daily Courier’s emailed questions, but did not reply before press time.