If all goes according to plan, the world’s first electrically-powered commuter airplane to fly regularly-scheduled commercial flights will be Canadian.
It will be a while before the technology advances to the point where big international carriers are flying electric planes, but until then British Columbia’s regional airline Harbour Air is blazing the trail by teaming up with magniX and H55 to certify the world’s first electric Beaver (eBeaver) commuter airplane.
The companies are working with Transport Canada to certify the installation of the magniX electric propulsion unit and the H55 enhanced battery system in order to transform Harbour Air’s seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet.
After the successful first flight of the Harbour Air eBeaver powered by magniX in December 2019 and ongoing flight tests since then, the companies have teamed up with H55 to use its modular battery technology to expand the eBeaver’s balance to weight ratio and endurance.
The de Havilland Canada Beaver is a legendary aircraft having first flown in 1947 and is used around the world in a variety of roles. It is best known in Canada for its use as a bush plane.
Harbour Air bills itself as the world’s largest seaplane airline. It has more than 40 aircraft and offers up to 300 daily scheduled flights, scenic tours, adventure packages,and private flights. With extensive scheduled flight service connecting downtown Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle (WA), Nanaimo, Tofino, Whistler, Richmond (YVR South), Sechelt, Salt Spring Island, Pitt Meadows, Maple Bay and Comox.