Harbour Air Seaplanes (North America’s largest seaplane airline) and MagniX (a company involved in developing electric aviation) have announced the successful flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.
The six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver with a 560kW Magni500 propulsion system took off from the Fraser River at the Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal adjacent to Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal.
It was piloted by Harbour Air (www.harbourair.com
) CEO and founder Greg McDougall.
Mr McDougall said: “We made history. 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.”
Earlier last year, Harbour Air announced its partnership with MagniX and its intention to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet.
The Magni500, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show
last June, is a high-power-density electric propulsion system that provides ‘a clean and efficient way to power airplanes’.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX (www.www.magnix.aero
), said: “In December 1903, the Wright Brothers launched the aviation age with the first flight of a powered aircraft.
"Today, with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation.
"The transportation industry — and specifically the aviation segment — is ripe for a ‘massive disruption’.
"Now we are proving that low-cost environment-friendly commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.”