World’s first fully electric commercial flight takes off in Canada

The world's first electric commercial aircraft owned and operated by Harbour Air is seen landing following its maiden flight in Richmond, British Columbia, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. Harbour Air announced in March that it had partnered with engineering firm MagniX in Washington state with the goal of becoming the world's first all-electric airline. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

In what has been described as the first-ever for the aviation industry, an all-electric powered seaplane took off in Vancouver in Canada in December 2019. The plane took off for its 10-minute flight on the Fraser River in Richmond, BC.

The plane, called eBeaver, is a collaboration between the Vancouver-based company Harbour Air and Washington-based magniX.

The CEO of Harbour Air, Greg McDougall was also the pilot of this flight. This short test flight involved a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver aircraft, powered by a 750-horsepower magni500 propulsion system.

“This historic flight signifies the start of the third era in aviation – the electric age,” Harbour Air and magniX said in a statement.

This flight is a major milestone as electric flights could slash carbon emissions greatly in the aviation sector, which is currently one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse emissions.

Could this usher in a new era in aviation? Only time will tell.

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