Harbour Air seaplane landing

Electric aircraft takes flight

The world’s first commercial all-electric plane has taken its inaugural fight in the sky above Vancouver, British Columbia.

Operated by local seaplane airline Harbour Air, the successful flight of the ePlane – a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver retrofitted with a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, designed by Australian engineering firm MagniX – took place on the Fraser River at Harbour Air’s seaplane terminal in Richmond, Vancouver South on December 10th.

The aircraft was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall:

“Today, 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 this year, Harbour Air announced its partnership with MagniX and the company’s intention to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. The magni500, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June, 2019, is a high-power-density electric propulsion system that provides a clean and efficient way to power airplanes. 

“Today…with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX. “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.”

Now we are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.

– Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX

MagniX and Harbour Air are now beginning the certification and approval process for the propulsion system. Once the certification is complete Harbour Air plans to adapt it’s entire fleet for all-electric propulsion.

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