The world’s largest electric powered aircraft has made its maiden flight and is expected to enter commercial operations next year.

The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan completed a successful initial 30 minute flight powered by a magniX engine with modifications to the aircraft to enable its electrification made by AeroTEC, an aerospace testing, engineering and certification company.

The eCaravan was powered by a 560 kW magni500 propulsion system and lifted off the ground at the AeroTEC Flight Test Center at the Grant County International Airport (KMWH) in Moses Lake, Washington. The modified Cessna Caravan turboprop typically seats nine passengers.

Middle-mile aircraft can operate at “fraction” of current cost

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX said pf the hundred mile flight: “This first flight of the eCaravan is yet another step on the road to operating these middle-mile aircraft at a fraction of the cost, with zero emissions, from and to smaller airports,”

In an interview with the BBC at the weekend, he said the post-COVID-19 environment had created the perfect conditions for the switch to electric propulsion, owing to lower ticket and maintenance costs, along with a public appetite to bypass larger airports instead taking flights from smaller airports on smaller aircraft.

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