Electrification Takes Off!
Airplanes are probably the most difficult transportation mode to power with electricity. That hasn’t fazed Harbour Air, the world’s largest seaplane airline. CEO Greg McDougall announced plans to convert its entire fleet of 42 seaplanes to electric power. “We are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion,” McDougall said in a news release.
The Vancouver-based Harbour Air has contracted Redmond, Washington-based MagniX to convert their fleet with aircraft quality electric motors. The 750 horsepower mangni500 motor is rated at 2,075 pound-feet of torque. Batteries will deliver 30 minutes of flight time and 30 minutes of reserve power.
The operational range means that the converted seaplanes will likely operate on Harbour Air’s short hops from Vancouver to outer islands in British Columbia. The companies hope to increase performance to a point where Vancouver-to-Seattle runs are possible.