I saw an article from the BBC about the Eviation Alice this morning that left me puzzled. The design is a tail wheel tri-motor with the power plants located in a pusher configuration at the wing tips and tail.
The article describes the aircraft thusly:
"Alice is an unconventional-looking craft: powered by three rear-facing pusher-propellers, one in the tail and two counter-rotating props at the wingtips to counter the effects of drag."
I'm wondering about what drives the configuration of the Alice? What compelling benefits does the configuration offer to balance the challenges it poses:
- Controllability in the case of the failure of one of the wing tip power plants - even with the ability to fly (and presumably continue a worst case take off) on only the rear motor - why wouldn't you move the wing mounted engines inboard and have even better "engine" out performance?
- Ground clearance and crosswind problems for the tail gear.
- Designing a light and efficient wing with tip mounted power plants.
Obviously Eviation thinks that their configuration makes sense, has anybody heard or seen their arguments?