The world’s first electric commercial aircraft made a 15-minute test flight over Vancouver, Canada. It is a modification of the DHC-2 De Havilland Beaver, which was created 62 years ago.
The new version of the plane is equipped with an electric motor developed by the engineering firm MagniX (Seattle) in cooperation with Harbour Air, which transports up to half a million passengers a year between Vancouver, the Canadian ski resort of Whistler, the nearby islands and coastal communities.
The DHC-2 test flight was attended by both the pilot and Harbour Air founder and CEO, Greg McDougall, along with six passengers. Around one hundred watchers observed the 15-minute flight from the ground. As Magdugal reported after the successful completion of the flight:
“Our goal is actually to electrify our entire fleet. There is no reason not to do so.
However, it may take at least two years before the Harbor Air fleet is electrified, during which time the electric aircraft must prove their reliability and safety during the tests.
Civil aviation is one of the fastest growing “suppliers” of CO2 emissions. According to the European Environment Agency, one passenger accounts for 285 grams of CO2 per kilometre of travel. These emissions contribute to further climate change with severe negative impacts.