magniX and AeroTEC announced the successful first flight of their fully electric Cessna Grand Caravan 208B. Up to date, this is the world’s largest ever all-electric aircraft. The flight of the eCaravan, powered by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system↗︎, took place at the AeroTEC Flight Test Center at the Grant County International Airport (KMWH) in Moses Lake, Washington on 28 May.
The completion of their ambitious project is definitely an important milestone towards a new era of electric aviation. There is still a long way to go to achieve this vision. However, the eCaravan demonstrates that especially the General Aviation sector offers opportunities where electric propulsion can be implemented with today’s technology. It is magniX’s goal to prove that even commercial electric flight is possible.
“This 30-minute flight would have cost us $6 in electricity compared to $300 to $400 in fuel, and the Cessna 182 chase plane was louder than the Caravan. These electric commercial aircraft will enable the offering of flying services of people and packages in a way previously not possible.”
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX
“I’m proud of the pioneering work performed by our engineers, technicians and flight test team. There’s no roadmap for testing and certifying electric aircraft – this is a new frontier and AeroTEC is on the front lines developing the processes and best practices that will pave the way for electric aviation.”
Lee Human, President and CEO of AeroTEC
MagniX is in the process to get certification and approval for its magni500 system to enable future conversions of additional general aviation aircraft to their all-electric propulsion technology.
Other companies all around the world are getting ready to step into the field of electric aviation. Uber is evaluating the use of electric air taxis and already started to develop both electric motors and airframes on their own account.
A number of big players have announced projects to push electric aviation to a new level. Airbus, Embraer, Rolls-Royce, Ampaire, Pipistrel Aircraft, Zunum Aero, easyJet, and NASA form an impressive line up and are all willing to invest in electric aviation. There are still many obstacles in the way and setbacks will inevitably happen. But maybe the vision of a new electric era might come sooner than expected.