Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline, and electric propulsion company magniX, has announced a partnership to transform Harbour Air seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet.
The fleet will be powered by the magni500, a 750 horsepower (HP) all-electric motor.
The companies say a Harbour Air ePlane will use no fossil fuels and produce zero emissions.
The first aircraft to be converted will be the DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, a six-passenger commercial aircraft used across Harbour Air’s route network. Harbour Air and magniX expect to conduct first flight tests of the all-electric aircraft in late 2019.
“Pushing the boundaries”
Greg McDougall, founder and CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes, said: “Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets.
“Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion. We are excited to bring commercial electric aviation to the Pacific Northwest, turning our seaplanes into ePlanes.”
The ‘middle mile’
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, added: “In 2018, 75% of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range. 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.
“We’re excited to partner with Harbour Air, a forward-thinking, like-minded company that is dedicated to bringing environmentally conscious, cost effective air-transport solutions to the West Coast of North America. This partnership will set the standard for the future of commercial aviation operators.”
Operating 12 routes between hubs like Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific Northwest, Harbour Air welcomes more than 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights each year.