The North American seaplane airline, Harbour Air, and magniX have announced the successful flight of what it says is the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.
The flight of the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver (magnified by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system) took place on the Fraser River at Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in Richmond.
“Today, we made history,” said Greg McDougall, CEO and founder of Harbour Air Seaplanes. “I am incredibly proud of Harbour Air’s leadership role in re-defining safety and innovation in the aviation and seaplane industry. Canada has long held an iconic role in the history of aviation, and to be part of this incredible world-first milestone is something we can all be really proud of.”
Harbour Air and magniX announced a partnership earlier this year to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. The magni500 was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June, featuring a high-power-density electric propulsion system.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX commented that with the first flight of the all-electric powered commercial aircraft “we have launched the electric era of aviation.”
“The transportation industry and specifically the aviation segment that has been, for the most part, stagnant since the late 1930s, is ripe for a massive disruption,” Ganzarski commented. “Now we are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.”
magniX and Harbour Air will begin the certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of the aircraft. Once the certification is complete, the rest of the fleet can be magnified with magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.