The world’s first fully electric-powered seaplane has taken its first test flight in the city of Vancouver, Canada.
The operators of the electric seaplane declared it as the “world’s first” for the aviation industry after the short test of 15 minutes. The test was piloted by magniX and Harbour Air together, which indeed created history.
Chief Executive of magnix, Roei Ganzarski said, “This test has proven that commercial aviation can work in an all-electric form.”
Harbour Air carries nearly half a million passengers every year between the city of Vancouver, and to nearby coastal areas and islands. “The partnership among Harbour Air and magniX was a major step in building world’s first all-electric commercial fleet.” said the companies.
The companies stated that this historic flight has showed the beginning of the third era in the aviation industry, which is also the electric age. The shift towards electric could help lower carbon emissions in the polluted aviation zone.
magniX is an Australian engineering company which was launched at the Paris Air Show at the beginning of this year. magniX has specified that its propulsion system aims in providing ‘clean and efficient way to power airplanes. Ganzarski also said, “This technology means significant cost savings for airlines and zero emissions, which indeed signifies the beginning of all-electric aviation age.”
The e-plane was piloted by the Founder and Chief Executive of Harbour Air, Mr Greg McDougall. The aircraft is a six-passenger DHC 2 de Havilland Beaver
The e-planes was flown by McDougall on a short trip close to the Fraser River situated near the famous Vancouver international airport with 100 eyes watching the aircraft in the air. According to a journalist present at the scene, the flight did not last for more than 15 minutes.
McDougall spoke, “For me, the short journey was similar to flying a Beaver but with extra power. It felt like the Beaver was on electric-powered steroids. It had so much power that I had to pull back on it.”
“The company could save millions taking into account the fuel efficiency and maintenance costs. In fact, our major goal is to electrify the entire fleet,” said McDougall.
The electric plane has to be tested further to check if it is safe and reliable. Besides, it is significant that the electric motor is approved and certified by the regulators. However, it will take at least two years for Harbour Air to electrify its entire fleet of more than 40 seaplanes.
“No wonder battery power is a challenge as the aircraft flown on Tuesday has a lithium battery power, which could fly not more than 160 km. This explains that we have not reached the range where we want it to be, but it’s enough to start a revolution. Why drive for an hour, when you can fly 15 minutes to work,” said Ganzarski.