First Commercial Electric Plane Takes Off In Canada

First Commercial Electric Plane Takes Off In Canada
Harbour Air and magniX partner to build world's first all-electric commercial plane, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

World’s first commercial electric plane completes test flight in Vancouver

OT Staff
January 06 , 2020
01 Min Read

In a first for the aviation industry, an all-electric seaplane has taken flight in Vancouver, Canada. The six-seater Harbour Air ePlane with an engine designed by Australian firm MagniX completed a test flight, marking a landmark achievement.

The 15-minute trial flight took place in the city of Richmond, south of Vancouver. Fitted with an electric motor, this was the first attempt at building the world’s first all-electric commercial fleet. The transition to electric could substantially bring down the amount of carbon emissions in the aviation sector. 


Piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall, the electric seaplane involved a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver with a 750-horsepower magni500 propulsion system. The Australian engineering firm MagniX responsible for the engine launched it at the Paris Air Show, and stated that the propulsion system aims to provide a clean and efficient way to power planes. 

HarbourAir aims to create an entire fleet by 2022, once all the safety and regulatory approvals are secured. The ePlanes have to be tested to confirm the reliability and safety and require certifications by regulators. 

As per a statement by transport minister Marc Garneau, this could set a new trend for more environment flying. According to MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski, if short-haul flights are powered by battery, it could transform the way people commute. However, at present, the aircraft can fly about 160 km on lithium battery power. He further adds that though it’s not sufficient, it’s enough to start a revolution.


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