Earlier today, Harbour Air completed its first test flight of a converted Beaver seaplane, marking a significant step towards the company’s plans to be fully electric by 2022.
The test flight, which was piloted by Harbour Air founder and CEO Greg McDougall, took off from the company’s seaplane terminal in Richmond, BC, just south of the Vancouver International Airport. The e-plane was in the air for four minutes before returning to land. The test flight was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was pushed up to today due to changing weather forecasted for the area.
Harbour Air partnered with magniX, a company based in neighbouring Washington State, to complete the conversion of the six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver float plane. It was retrtofitted with a 750 horsepower electric engine, powered by a NASA-approved lithium ion system that was used on the space station.
Harbour Air currently flies short-range flights between Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Whistler, and Seattle, making it an ideal candidate for electric planes.
You can watch a replay of the livestream here (begin watching at the 27 minute mark).
Today, we made history. Launching the world’s first electric commercial aircraft retrofitted with a 750 horsepower all-electric magni500 propulsion system. Thank you to our amazing maintenance team and our partners at @MagniX for all your efforts! Together, we did it! 👏 #ePlane pic.twitter.com/Rhw35BRnqB
— Harbour Air Seaplanes (@HarbourAirLtd) December 10, 2019