World's First Electric Commercial Aircraft Takes to the Skies

December 11, 2019 By IdeaConnection

First Commercial Electric AircraftIn what is being hailed in some quarters as the start of the third era in aviation, a fully-electric powered commercial seaplane has taken off from Vancouver, Canada.

The six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver was equipped with a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system.

This short test flight by Harbour Air and magniX took place yesterday at Fraser River.

There was only one person on board as the flight permit only allowed for a test pilot. This maiden flight was brief, covering a distance of just 16 kilometers. However, seaplane operator Harbour Air said the plane's prototype electric motor and lithium batteries could power a flight that's ten times longer.

"The [flight] range now is not where we'd love it to be, but it's enough to start the revolution," said magniX chief executive Roei Ganzarski, AFP news agency reported.

Electric Ambitions

Yesterday's maiden flight was a promising start that could help to usher in all-electric commercial fleets. That's good news for the planet as it could help slash carbon emissions. 

Harbour Air hopes to electrify its entire fleet by 2022.

"This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation - the electric age," Harbour Air and magniX said in a statement.

While the electric seaplane flight was a significant milestone, no one is yet seriously talking about long-haul electric flights happening anytime in the near future.

However, short electric flights would be possible and ideal for short trips in small communities.

To see yesterday's test flight, watch the short news report below from Global News.



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