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magniX and AeroTEC fly all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan


June 1, 2020
By Wings Staff


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The eCaravan is powered by the magniX magni500 electric propulsion system. (Photo: PRNewsfoto, magniX)

Washington state companies magniX, which develops motors and systems for electric propulsion, and AeroTEC, an aerospace engineering firm focused on testing and certification, on May 29 completed a 30-minute flight of an all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan 208B. The milestone is described by the companies as a flight of the world’s largest all-electric commercial aircraft to date.

Powered by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, the aptly named eCaravan flight took place at the AeroTEC Flight Test Center at the Grant County International Airport (KMWH) in Moses Lake, Washington. magniX is based in Redmond and AeroTEC is out of Seattle.

“The iconic Caravan has been a workhorse of industry moving people and transporting goods on short routes for decades,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “This first flight of the eCaravan is yet another step on the road to operating these middle-mile aircraft at a fraction of the cost, with zero emissions, from and to smaller airports.”

Ganzarski continues to explain electric commercial aircraft will enable new business models for flying both people and packages. Back in December 2019, Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline headquartered in Richmond, BC, worked with magniX to complete the all-electric flight of a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver — described by the companies as the first all-electric flight of a commercial aircraft. This December 10 flight out of Harbour Air’s terminal on the Fraser River was also powered by magniX’s 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system.

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First flight for Harbour Air all-electric aircraft

“I’m proud of the pioneering work performed by our engineers, technicians and flight test team,” said Lee Human, president and CEO of AeroTEC, of the May 29 eCaravan flight. “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.”