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DHL and Eviation today announced a pretty big moment in the developing history of electric aviation and specifically electric cargo aviation. Starting later this year, DHL will begin testing a fleet of 12 electric cargo planes from Eviation’s sole current model dubbed “Alice.” Deliveries will begin in 2024.

The Alice planes look almost identical, save for some missing windows and seats and an additional 100lbs capacity, to the passenger version of the Eviation Alice plane we’ve talked about in the past, amusingly calling it the “Tesla of Aviation.” It now boasts around 440NM of range or just over 500 miles (800km).

Eviation updated Alice last month with some significant changes:

Changing from a V-tail to a T-tail will “optimise performance and handling, making it easy and reliable for pilots to seamlessly transition to flying the aircraft”.

The updated design “represents a final step in our iterative journey toward Alice’s first flight”, adds Eviation chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay.

Eviation also confirms Alice will use two of Magnix’s 850hp (634kW) Magni650 electric powerplants, rather than three 375hp Magni250s. In June Magnix said it was replacing the Magni250 and another previous model, the 750hp Magni500, with two new derivatives: the 469hp Magni350 and the Magni650.

Additionally, figures from Eviation’s website show the company has in recent years tweaked Alice’s advertised capabilities, shaving some 100nm (185km) off its range.

The website now says Alice will cruise at 220kt (407km/h) and have 440nm range, with power coming from an 820kWh lithium-ion battery system weighing 3,720kg (8,200lb). Previously, Eviation has said Alice would cruise at 240kt and have 540nm range and 920kWh battery system weighing 3,600kg.

Eviation moved its headquarters from Israel to Seattle but retains most of its Israeli leadership.

DHL plans to build the world’s first electric air cargo network with the electric plane, noting that Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lbs). It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 815 kilometers (440 nautical miles).

What’s more important is that Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by short-range piston and turbine aircraft.

Electric airplanes cut costs (oh and save the planet)

Alice’s electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs over combustion. Its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency. Electricity costs a lot less per mile than AvGas or Jet Fuel. The plane only requires one pilot for cargo, saving on human resources. Not to mention it is quieter for noise abatement.

“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” says John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “Therefore, our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon footprint. On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions. Founded in 1969, DHL Express has been known as a pioneer in the aviation industry for decades. We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation.”

“The next time you order an on-demand package, check if it was delivered with a zero-emission aircraft like DHL will be doing,” said Eviation Executive Chairman Roei Ganzarski. “With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice is enabling DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities.”

The commercial passenger version of Alice specs are below and appear to be very similar to the cargo version:

Check out some of the images below:

Left to right: Geoff Kehr, SVP Global Aviation Fleet Management, Global Aviation (DHL Express Global Head Office); Omer Bar-Yohay, CEO of Eviation Aircraft; Robert Hyslop, Senior Vice President, DHL Aviation; Jessica Pruss – Head of Sales, General Aviation and Business Aviation, Eviation Aircraft
Eviation’s all-electric Alice eCargo jet.
Eviation’s all-electric Alice eCargo jet.

Electrek’s take:

You love to see it. Short-haul aviation is where we can actually make strides in the next 5-10 years. Long haul will probably require hydrogen if we have to go 0 carbon. There just aren’t battery breakthroughs that are going to solve 10-hour, over-ocean flights in the next decade.

As for this plane, it hits a lot of the right spots, being great for general short-haul aviation. Cape Air in the US has already signed on for its expensive NYC to Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard route. I expect to see more of these flying between places like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Another vector these planes might be able to exploit is flying out of quiet little airports that have noise abatement regulations that are prohibitive to jets or turboprops. Flying an electric airplane overhead is a lot easier to swallow than jet fuel exhaust-dumping dinosaurs currently inhabiting our skies.


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Harry and Meghan’s documentary series trailer released by Netflix

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Harry and Meghan's documentary series trailer released by Netflix

The trailer for Harry and Meghan’s new documentary series has been released.

The one-minute preview, released by Netflix, features previously unseen black and white photographs of the couple set to music.

They are heard being asked “Why did you want to make this documentary?” to which Harry replies: “No one sees what’s happening behind closed doors.”

He adds: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family” before Meghan is seen wiping away tears.

The trailer ends with Meghan saying: “When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”

Images of William and Kate with Harry and Meghan at the Commonwealth Day service in 2020, the Sussexes’ final public appearance as senior working royals, feature among the images.

There are also joyful pictures of the couple kissing while Meghan sits on a kitchen counter, as newlyweds dancing at their wedding, cuddling in a photobooth, and Meghan cradling her baby bump.

But the duchess is also pictured in sadder moments, wiping away tears and sitting with her hands covering her face.

Meghan and Harry. Pic: Netflix
Image:
Meghan and Harry. Pic: Netflix

Netflix describes the documentary, titled Harry & Meghan, as a “global event” and says it is “coming soon” – reports say it will land on 8 December.

It says the show “explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution”.

It features commentary from friends, family and royal historians.

It adds: “The series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”

The director, Liz Garbus, is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning director.

Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals – thought to be worth well over £100m- with Netflix and Spotify after quitting the monarchy and moving to the US.

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su to stand trial on indecent assault charges in South Korea

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su to stand trial on indecent assault charges in South Korea

The Squid Game actor O Yeong-su will stand trial on charges of indecent assault after a woman accused him of inappropriately touching her.

The trial of the Golden Globe winner, 78, was set for February at the district court in the South Korean city of Seongnam last week.

Specific details about the case could not be confirmed at this stage, Kim Myeong-un, an official in the district prosecutors’ office, said.

O Yeong-su (left) with other Squid Game actors in the Netflix series. Pic: AP
Image:
O Yeong-su, left, in Squid Game. Pic: AP

O allegedly made unwanted physical contact with the woman, who has not been identified, at a meeting five years ago.

He denies any wrongdoing and has claimed he only held the woman’s hands to “show her the way” as they walked around a lake, according to a local television channel.

O said he had offered the woman an apology, not because he accepted the accusations against him were valid, but because the woman allegedly told him she “wouldn’t raise an issue” about the incident if he did, according to JTBC.

O became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe in January after he was named the best supporting actor for his role in Squid Game.

More on Netflix

The violent Netflix drama follows a group of severely indebted adults competing in a series of deadly children’s games for a share of a cash prize.

O was also nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Oh Il-nam, a mysterious elderly contestant who joined the games after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

O has not yet commented publicly on the allegations.

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Jake Flint: US country star, 37, dies just hours after getting married

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Jake Flint: US country star, 37, dies just hours after getting married

US country music star Jake Flint has died unexpectedly at the age of 37, just hours after getting married.

The Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter died in his sleep after he tied the knot with wife Brenda on Saturday.

His heartbroken bride posted on Facebook: “We should be going through wedding photos but instead, I have to pick out clothes to bury my husband in.

“People aren’t meant to feel this much pain.

“My heart is gone and I just really need him to come back.

“I can’t take much more. I need him here.”

She also shared a picture of the couple dancing after their nuptials on Facebook, writing “I don’t understand.”

More on Country Music

Mr Flint’s publicist, Clif Doyal, said the musician died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, 27 November.

“Flint had exchanged wedding vows with Brenda Wilson on Saturday. He was 37.

“No official cause of death has been determined.”

In a statement shared by Mr Doyal, Mr Flint’s family said they were “broken” over the “tragic loss” of their beloved son, brother, uncle and partner, known to them as Jacob.

“He valued his family, friendships and living life to the fullest, which was evident in his songwriting.

“Every person who knew him has a story of his wit, charm, talent and compassion.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and the many beautiful tributes that have been shared about the impact Jacob had on many lives.

“While we grieve what we know could have been, we are grateful that his talent and love live on in his songs.”

A service for Mr Flint will take place on Monday at Cedar Point Church in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Instead of flowers, the family have requested donations to the Red Dirt Relief Fund, an organisation which provides emergency assistance funding grants to musicians in need.

A fundraising campaign has also been launched to raise money for the family of Mr Flint, described as a “great man in our music community.”

The musician was in the middle of a multi-state tour and had been scheduled to perform in Claremore on Friday.

His former manager, Brenda Cline, said she “loved him much like a son”, hailing him as the “funniest, most hilarious, hardest working, dedicated artist I have ever worked with in my career.”

“Jake has a million friends and I’m not sure how everyone will cope with this tragic loss,” she wrote on Facebook.

“This is going to be incredibly difficult for so many. We love you Jake and in our hearts forever.”

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