World's first commercial electric plane completes point-to-point flight
An aviation company at the cutting edge of electrified air travel has taken a significant step forward, completing a first-of-a-kind test flight using a retrofitted seaplane. Harbour Air's De Havilland Beaver completed a short hop from the Canadian mainland to Vancouver Island using its all-electric drivetrain, demonstrating the viability of its cleaner approach to short-haul flights.
Harbour Air is the largest seaplane airline in North America and claims to transport around half a million passengers across 30,000 commercial flights each year. In 2019, it pledged to become the world's first all-electric airline, a bold vision that involves retrofitting its fleet of existing six-seater seaplanes with electric propulsion systems.
These systems come via a partnership with electric motor company MagniX, which is making important advances with its high-power electric motors and has partnered with other ambitious companies in the aviation space.
In December of 2019, the modified De Havilland Beaver took off to complete the first successful flight of an all-electric commercial aircraft, a brief jaunt above the Fraser River at Harbour Air's terminal in Richmond, British Columbia. The company has since continued this testing program with an eye to certifying and approving the aircraft with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada.
Last week, on August 17, the company's electric aircraft completed its first point-to-point test flight, in what might resemble a future commercial service. The plane took off at 8:12 am from its Fraser River Terminal and landed at Patricia Bay on Vancouver Island 24 minutes later, completing a 45-mile (72-km) journey purely on electricity, with ample power reportedly leftover.
“I am excited to report that this historic flight on the ePlane went exactly as planned” said Kory Paul, Harbour Air’s Vice President of Flight Operations and one of the company’s test Pilots. “Our team as well as the team at magniX and Transport Canada are always closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance and today’s flight further proved the safety and reliability of what we have built."
Source: Harbour Air
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On a good day 35 miles. 20 minutes. In not so good weather the flight took up to an hour each way.
In all my years in Alaska I never once flew in a plane with a full fuel tank. They flew with enough fuel to get the job done and a reserve to save weight. You can't do that with batteries.
A lot of remote areas had av gas that a pilot could use in a pinch even when they didn't have electricity.
The Beaver is a bush plane that would not be safe to use as such when electrified.
Together, coal and natural gas are responsible for 87 percent of the energy generation in the Alberta electricity market. As an illustration, electricity in cities such as Edmonton and Calgary is mainly generated by natural gas."
The naysayer fossils will always find excellent reasons to deny the need &/or efficacy of renewables based electrification, just like the canal lobby did with those dangerous & unreliable steam locos ...
Nonsense, your nonsensical comparison bears no merit. Electric aircraft saves weight by having a light motor and not to mention wins the safety contest hands down ! Say goodbye to deadstick landings !
As for it not being charged by wind/solar. This is an old dumb argument far right wingers and staunch petrolheads try to use to downplay electrics hilarious as they will be charged by wind and solar more and more each year as fossil fuels are wasting the planet away electrics only grows by the year.
To fly in weather (IFR flight rules) an aircraft must be capable of flying to its planned destination, shooting an approach, doing a missed approach then flying to an alternate airport plus 45 minutes of fuel reserves.
A battery powered plane like the one shown here cannot comply with IFR rules and would simply crash.
A typical light aircraft has at least five hours of range ...... often more. To match this with batteries the plane would be so heavy that it would never get off the ground.
It's a joke. Wake me up when a serious proposal comes along.