Signifying the start of the electric aviation age, the world’s first fully-electric commercial aircraft took its inaugural test flight yesterday, in Vancouver, Canada.
Chief Executive of Seattle-based Engineering firm magniX, Roei Ganzarski said, the technology would mean significant cost savings for airlines, not to mention zero emissions. Ganzarski said the range is enough to start the revolution, adding that batteries and electric motors will eventually be developed to power longer flights.
The company designed the plane’s motor and worked in partnership with Harbour Air. The e-plane, a 62-year-old, six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver seaplane retrofitted with an electric motor, was piloted by Greg McDougall, founder and Chief Executive of Harbour Air. However, Harbour Air will have to wait for at least two years before it can begin electrifying its fleet of more than 40 seaplanes.
The e-plane has to be tested further to confirm it is reliable and safe. In addition, the electric motor must be approved and certified by regulators.