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Eviation’s all-electric Alice aircraft makes its maiden flight

On September 27, 2022, Eviation Aircraft‘s Alice zero-emission electric aircraft performed first flight. At 7:10 a.m., the plane took off from the runway at Grant County International Airport (MWH) in Moses Lake, Washington, and in 8 minutes of flight, the plane reached an altitude of 3500 feet (about 1000 m) and a speed of 149 knots (275 km/h), after which it landed on the same site.

The Alice is a prototype of what will eventually be a passenger plane capable of carrying around 2500 pounds total, which equates to nine people and their luggage (just don’t pack any bricks). It’s powered by a pair of MagniX engines — that company just scooped up $74 million from NASAto develop more of them — and a hefty battery system from AVL. It has a max air speed of about 260 knots.

“Today’s first flight provided Eviation with invaluable data to further optimize the aircraft for commercial production. We will review the flight data to understand how the performance of the aircraft matched our models,” Eviation CEO and President Gregory Davis told TechCrunch.


Pilatus Acquires American Sales and Service Centre Skytech Inc.

Founded in 1976, Skytech Inc. is a specialist service provider and aircraft vendor with two locations in the US states of Maryland and South Carolina. As part of an upcoming succession plan, Pilatus has decided to take over Skytech, and the entire workforce of 120 or so will continue to be employed by the Swiss aircraft manufacturer.

Skytech has operated as a Pilatus independent Authorised Sales & Service Centre since 1993. With a successor due to replace co-founder and owner John Foster, Pilatus has decided to acquire its partner of many years. The business will continue to operate as an independent company with responsibility for servicing and sales of PC-24s and PC-12s on the East Coast, as well as aircraft types from other manufacturers. The Skytech brand will also remain. The current Skytech CEO, Justin Lazzeri, will lead the company into the future with his team, which includes many long-serving employees. Both business locations in Rock Hill (South Carolina) and Baltimore (Maryland) are included in the purchase.


SR Technics and Garuda Indonesia: CFM56-7B Engine Support contract

SR Technics signed at the MRO Asia in Singapore, a multi-year CFM56-7B Engine Support contract with PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. (“Garuda”), powering its Boeing 737 Next Generation. The contract will allow SR Technics and Garuda Indonesia to explore areas of cooperation by providing the best quality service in engine support for B737NGs. The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as 737NG, or 737 Next Gen, is a narrow-body aircraft powered by two jet engines and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“This is a great step forward for us in the Asia market, we look forward to continuing cooperation with Garuda Indonesia Airlines and strengthening our partnership even more.” said Caroline Vandedrinck, Senior Vice President Business Development at SR Technics at the signing ceremony. Jean-Marc Lenz, Chief Executive Officer at SR Technics, stated “With previous work history, we are glad to welcome back Garuda Indonesia at our facilities. As a company with a great committed team, customer centricity, and professional standards, SR Technics will undoubtedly provide great engine service support.”


People: BAir France-KLM alliances chief Patrick Roux to head SkyTeam

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

SkyTeam has named Air France-KLM’s head of alliances Patrick Roux as its new managing director in successsion to Kristin Colvile. Colvile is returning to Delta Air Lines having completed a four-year term at the helm of SkyTeam. Much of her tenure at the alliance was spent during the pandemic, during which period SkyTeam introduced a number of initiatives aimed at boosting ‘seamless travel’ across alliance members.

While the focus of the alliance has in recent years shifted to development of digital services rather than seeking new members, Delta and Air France-KLM partner Virgin Atlantic recently announced plans to join the alliance next year. That will mark the first all-new SkyTeam member since Garuda Indonesia joined in 2014, though Italian operator ITA Airways replaced predecessor carrier Alitalia in the grouping last year.

Roux has worked across a number of executive roles at Air France-KLM – a founding member of SkyTeam – most latterly as senior vice-president alliances. Korean Air chief executive Walter Cho, who is chair of SkyTeam, says: “I thank Kristin for all her hard work and dedication over the last four years, during which she navigated the challenges of the pandemic to lead SkyTeam’s transformation into a more agile, digitally focused, value-oriented organisation.”Cho adds: “Roux joins the alliance at an important point in time, and we have absolute confidence that his extensive experience will help us further build the alliance of the future through a continued focus on delivering a seamless travel experience.”

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