Harbour Air has successfully completed its first all-electric point-to-point test flight.
The 45-mile trip from the Canadian seaplane operator’s terminal at Frasier River near Vancouver International Airport to Pat Bay took place on August 18 and was completed in 24 minutes by the carrier’s de Havilland Canada Beaver ‘ePlane’, C-FJOS (c/n 1030).
“I’m excited to report this historic flight on the ePlane went exactly as planned” said Kory Paul, Harbour Air’s vice president of flight operations and one of the company’s test pilots.
“Our team, as well as those at magniX and Transport Canada, are always closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance and today’s flight further proved the safety and reliability of what we have built.”
Harbour Air has been testing the use of electric motors for more than two years under its ePlane project. The company built a proof-of-concept testbed by replacing the Beaver’s Pratt & Witney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engine with a 750hp magni500 all-electric motor.
A second certification validation aircraft is already being built. Beaver C-FIFQ (c/n 825) has been stripped of its powerplant and fuel systems and is undergoing alterations ready to receive its new motor. It will also be fitted with a Hartzell’s four-blade raptor composite propeller, which is undergoing its own certification programme.