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The First Commercial Electric Plane Successfully Tested

The First Commercial Electric Plane Successfully Tested

Magnix and Harbour Air tested the first electric-airplane

Harbour Air plans to convert its fleet to all electric

Rolls Royce and Siemens are also looking to launch a hybrid aircraft by 2021

With environmental consciousness at its peak, the world has started pushing for a more sustainable mode of transportation — electric vehicles (EV). In the new addition to the development in the emobility segment, there is a surprising new addition in the aviation industry — an electric plane.

Australia-based electric motor manufacturer for electric aircraft Magnix and Canada-based seaplane airline Harbour Air, on December 10, tested out the world’s first all-electric seaplane called DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver in Vancouver, Canada.

“This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation – the electric age,” the companies said, in a press statement.

The six-seater electric plane was fitted with Magnix’s 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, which provides a clean and efficient way to power the aircraft. Magnix had first introduced the high-power-density propulsion system at the Paris Air Show, in June 2019.

Harbour Air and Magnix struck the partnership earlier this year to start developing an all-electric commercial plane fleet. Both companies believe that the innovation would help to cut down on carbon emission in the high polluting aviation sector.

Now that the companies are satisfied with the test run, they will begin the certification and approval process of the aircraft. Once approved, Harbour Air will work towards creating a “world’s first all-electric commercial fleet” by converting all its fleet to an electric fleet.

As far as the mainstream aircraft are concerned, Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Siemens are currently working on hybrid-electric plane E-Fan X, which is expected to take off in 2021. In the test, the companies will be replacing one of the four jet engines used in a regular aircraft with a 2MW liquid-cooled electric motor.

The 2MW is roughly equivalent to 10 medium-sized cars and its electric propulsion unit is powered by a power-generation system and battery. The addition is expected to boost more innovation to manufacture electric-only aircraft, which would significantly lower the use of fuels burn and local atmospheric emissions.