A partnership deal inked earlier this year between Canadian seaplane airline Harbour Air and Redmond-based Magnix, a developer of electric aircraft propulsion systems, has led to a history-defining moment: the successful flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.
The recent flight, which took place at a Harbour Air’s terminal in Richmond, British Columbia, involved a six-passenger seaplane outfitted wit a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system. The electric arcraft was piloted by the chief executive officer of Harbour Air, Greg McDougall.
“In December 1903, the Wright Brothers launched a new era of transportation — the aviation age — with the first flight of a powered aircraft,” says Roei Ganzarski, CEO of Magnix. “Today, 116 years later, with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation.
“We are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.”
Magnix and Harbour Air plan to begin the certification process for the new propulsion system. Once certified, Harbour Air can begin the electric-propulsion retrofitting process for its entire fleet of more than 40 aircraft. Harbour Air offers up to 300 daily flights as well as scenic tours, adventure packages and private flights. It serves 12 scheduled destinations, including Seattle, and provides flight services to more than 500,000 passengers annually.
Magnix is based in Redmond and operates engineering facilities there as well as in Australia and is dedicated to propelling an era of clean, affordable air travel via all-electric propulsion systems ― currently offering all-electric 375- and 750-horsepower engines. The company unveiled its magni500 electric propulsion system for airplanes at the Paris Air Show this past June.