In the era of electric vehicles and self-driving cars, now our airplanes are in the transition to become electric. The world’s first fully-electric aircraft for commercial flight has taken to the skies in Canada.
The plane flew above the Fraser River outside Vancouver for about seven minutes before touching down at around 8:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
The aircraft is an aging six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver seaplane it has been retrofitted with a 750-horsepower electric motor built by U.S. firm magniX.
The engine maker from Redmond, Washington, is working in partnership with Canada’s Harbour Air Seaplanes with the aim of building a fully electrified fleet of 40 seaplanes.
According to CNBC, operating routes between hubs like Seattle and Vancouver, Harbour Air carries around 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights each year.
The engine, the magni500, was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June this year.
CEO of magniX, Roei Ganzarski, said the electric era of aviation was coming and that the transport industry was “ripe for a massive disruption.”
CNBC reported that MagniX and Harbour Air said they will now begin the certification and approval process for both the engine and the retrofitting of aircraft and hope to be operating an all-electric commercial fleet within two years.