By Cailey Rizzo
December 12, 2019

The world’s first fully-electric commercial flight landed in Canada in an achievement that could lead to major changes in establishing a cleaner aviation industry.

The six-seater sea plane plane took off from Vancouver on Tuesday and flew for about 15 minutes before successfully landing. According to the companies who operated the flight, Harbour Air and magniX, it marks the start of a new age of aviation: electric.

Courtesy of Harbour Air Group

The flight was operated by Harbour Air, a short-haul Canadian airline and magniX who built the plane’s electric engine. The plane itself was a 62-year-old DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver seaplane retrofitted with a 750hp electric moto. Greg McDougall, the CEO and founder of Harbour Air, piloted the historic flight.

Courtesy of Harbour Air Group

“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,” Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, said in a statement. “Now we are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future.”

According to The Guardian, Harbour Air aims to electrify its entire fleet of planes. However, we’re still a long way off from longer-haul airlines doing the same. The engine used in this test flight is only capable of powering the plane about 100 miles.

In the UK, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) is also building a fully-electric plane. The planes would be capable of nine-seater short-haul flights and could be ready for commercial operation by 2023.

And Airbus is also working out an electric plane concept, inspired by birds of prey.

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