Harbour Air just completed a world’s first, the successful maiden commercial electric seaplane flight, which took off today! Stay tuned, as I will speak to the company tomorrow to find out more. In the meantime, enjoy this:
It happened in Vancouver, British Columbia, today, on December 10, 2019. Harbour Air, already North America’s largest seaplane airline after teaming up with magniX, as we previously reported, announced the successful flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial seaplanes.
The Harbour Air ePlane is a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver that swapped its internal combustion engines for a magniX 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system. The plane was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall, whom we will interview tomorrow.
This is a historic day and heralds commercial electric seaplanes flighting taking off — and yes, pun intended! The third era in aviation has started – the electric age — and we are witnessing it.
Greg McDougall, CEO and founder of Harbour Air Seaplanes, was quoted saying: “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.”
I reported earlier this year that Harbour Air partnered with magniX to build the world’s first electric commercial seaplane fleet. The conversion of the de Haviland DHC-2 with a magni500 electric powertrain was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. The new high-power-density electric propulsion system means the DHC-2 has a second lease on life as a more efficient and cleaner airplane. It became a reality today.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, followed up with: “In December 1903, the Wright Brothers launched a new era of transportation—the aviation age—with the first flight of a powered aircraft. Today, 116 years later, with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation. 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.”
What’s Next For Harbour Air’s Electric Seaplanes?
What’s next for magniX and Harbour Air is the certification path and approval process for the propulsion system, as well as the retrofitting of the aircraft. Harbour Air tells us that once the certification is complete, the rest of the fleet can be magnified with magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.
We congratulate Harbour Air and mangiX on this amazing partnership that heralds a cleaner and more efficient age of aviation. Electric airplanes have taken off, and sweetly enough, a seaplane ushered this new era.
Kudos to Harbour Air for your vision and mangiX for your electric expertise!