North America's largest seaplane airline plans to go all-electric
Although we just heard about a planned hybrid airliner, that's not the only "green" airplane news to come our way today. Harbour Air, North America's largest seaplane airline, has now announced that its entire 34-aircraft fleet will be going electric.
Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Harbour Air focuses its service on short flights within the Pacific Northwest – it reportedly carries over 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights annually.
In an effort to lower both operating costs and environmental impact, the new plan calls for all the seaplanes' internal combustion engines to be replaced with 560-kW/750-hp magni500 motors, made by Washington State-based company magniX. The first planes to get the motors will be the airline's 10 six-passenger de Havilland Beavers (one of which is pictured below).
Test flights should begin in late 2019. The conversion of the rest of the fleet ought to follow within one to two years.
"In 2018, 75 percent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles [1,609 km] or less in range," says magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. "With magniX's new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked 'middle mile' range."