- Harbour Air Seaplanes flew an all-electric touring plane in Vancouver
- The plane was a joint project with the engineering firm magniX
- The plane has a range of 100 miles and costs between $10 and $20 to charge
Habour Air Seaplanes, a touring company in Vancouver, conducted the world’s first ever commercial flight of an electric plane today over the Fraser River near Vancouver International Airport
The magni500 (pictured above) has a range of about 100 miles and costs between $10 and $20 to recharge
Today a commercial seaplane company in Vancouver completed the world’s first commercial flight of an electric plane.
Harbour Air Seaplanes conducted the short flight over the Fraser River near the Vancouver International Airport in the suburb of Richmond.
The company flew a six-person DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver with a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system designed by magniX, an engineering firm that specializes in electrical aeronautics.
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‘Today, we made history,’ Harbour’s Greg McDougall, who also piloted the flight, said in a statement.
‘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 announced its partnership with magniX this summer, promising to develop the world’s first fleet of entirely electric seaplanes for commercial use.
They initially announced two models, a smaller 375-horsepower magni250, and the larger 750-horsepower magni500, which is the model Harbour used for the flight.
According to a report by Engadget, the plane’s battery can power a 100-mile flight and costs between $10 and $20 to recharge.
The magni500 was built with a modified version of the DCH-2 Beaver, a famous single propeller aircraft first released in 1948.
The next step for Harbour and magniX will entail getting appropriate certification to retrofit other aircraft in the company fleet with the electric propulsion system.
‘This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation – the electric age,’ Harbour said in a statement.
Harbour specializes in sightseeing and aerial tours of Vancouver, Seattle, Nanaimo, Tofino and other scenic locations in the region.
The company says it offers up to 300 daily flights and has a fleet of over 40 aircraft.
Earlier this year, another company announced plans to begin a circuit of high speed electric plane races called Air Race E, featuring planes that can reach speeds of up to 300mph.
The first event is targeted for 2020.