History Made as First DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver ePlane Takes Flight

The world's first fully electric commercial aircraft takes flight. The Harbour Air ePlane is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system.
The world's first fully electric commercial aircraft takes flight. The Harbour Air ePlane is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system.

VANCOUVER – Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline and magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, today announced the successful flight of the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

The successful flight of the ePlane, a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver magnified by a 750-horsepower (560 kW) magni500 propulsion system, took place on the Fraser River at Harbour Air Seaplanes terminal in Richmond (YVR South) this morning. The plane was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall. This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation – the electric age.

“Today, we made history,” said Greg McDougall, CEO, and founder of Harbour Air Seaplanes. “I am incredibly proud of Harbour Air’s leadership role in re-defining safety and innovation in the aviation and seaplane industry. Canada has long held an iconic role in the history of aviation, and to be part of this incredible world-first milestone is something we can all be really proud of.”

Earlier this year, Harbour Air announced its partnership with magniX and the company’s intention to build the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. The magni500, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2019, is a high-power-density electric propulsion system that provides a clean and efficient way to power airplanes. Today that plan took flight and became a reality.

“In December 1903, the Wright Brothers launched a new era of transportation—the aviation age—with the first flight of a powered aircraft. Today, 116 years later, with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “The transportation industry and specifically the aviation segment that has been, for the most part, stagnant since the late 1930s, is ripe for a massive disruption. Now we are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.”

magniX and Harbour Air will now begin the certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of aircraft. Once the certification is complete, the rest of the fleet can be magnified with magniX’s all-electric propulsion technology.