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Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

The all-electric airplane called Alice flies overhead during its first flight in Moses Lake, Wash. Tuesday. (Ellen M. Banner, The Seattle Times via AP)


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MOSES LAKE, Wash. — A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.

The Seattle Times reports that if the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small airplane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial airplane.

The plane, built by startup Eviation, was built to carry nine passengers and up to two pilots. It took off from Moses Lake, Washington, at 7:10 a.m. PDT Tuesday, and landed eight minutes later.

The company's goal is to show such electric planes are viable as commuter aircraft flying at an altitude of about 15,000 feet.

The plane, designed by engineers in Washington state and Israel, is powered by 21,500 small Tesla-style battery cells.

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