The world’s first-ever fully electric commercial aircraft took its inaugural test flight from the Canadian city of Vancouver and flew for 15 minutes, according, reported Canadian media.
The six-seater plane — a 62-year-old seaplane re-fitted with a fully electric 750 horsepower motor — was on Tuesday (local time) piloted by Greg McDougall, founder and chief executive of Harbour Air, a British Columbia-based charter airline that transport passengers between Vancouver, Whistler ski resort and nearby islands and coastal communities. “Today, we made history,” said McDougall, who praised his company’s “innovation” in achieving a “world-first milestone”.
“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,” the airline wrote on its Twitter page.
The flight marks the start of the third aviation age — “the electric age” — according to a statement by Harbour Air.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, the Australian electric motor manufacturer who worked with Harbour Air on the project, said in a statement that the whole transportation sector — and the aviation industry in particular — is “ripe for a massive disruption.”
Ganzarski added that this flight proves that “low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel” could be possible in the “very near future.”
Harbour Air and magniX will now start the certification process, hoping to make the rest of Harbour Air’s fleet electric-powered.