Take off for first commercial electric plane test

Harbour Air and magniX partnership creates the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver retrofitted with a 560kW ‘magni500’ propulsion system

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Harbour Air seaplane

Harbour Air and magniX  have completed a successful test flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

North America’s largest seaplane airline and the electric propulsion developer worked together to create the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver retrofitted with a 560kW ‘magni500’ propulsion system, offering 750 horsepower.

The test on the Fraser River by Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in Richmond, Canada, saw Harbour Air CEO and Founder Greg McDougall pilot the aircraft.

McDougall said: “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.”

Harbour Air announced its partnership with magniX earlier this year – together they plan to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet.

They now aim to begin the certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of aircraft – this is necessary to electrify the rest of harbour Air’s planes.