Development of the world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft

In early 2019, Harbour Air announced a partnership with Washington based magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, with a commitment to build the world’s first all-electric commercial airline. We are incredibly proud, with our partners at magniX, to have successfully build and flown the world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft – which took flight on December 10, 2019.

With our combined expertise in aviation, maintenance and electric propulsion systems, our teams began and completed the process of retrofitting a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver and converting its engine to a 750-horsepower all-electric motor. In less than 10 months, the team created the blueprint, built the ePlane and successfully flew it!

The project included:
  • Stripping the aircraft down to the frame
  • Removing all fuel system components
  • Battery mounts fabricated and installed
  • Cockpit reconfigured and modified
  • Aircraft installed on floats
  • Motor mount developed and installed
  • Motor arrived and installed
  • Inverters arrived and installed
  • Inverter cooling system developed and installed
  • Inverters and motor calibrated
  • Software development, completion, installation & testing
  • Install and test battery strings
  • Install and test BMU (Battery Management Unit)
  • Aircraft painted and decals applied
  • magniX test equipment installed
  • 28V system install completed and checked
  • Worked through regulatory requirements to achieve first test flight
  • Successful first flight: December 10, 2019

What’s next? With the successful first flight complete, the aircraft is currently undergoing the certification and approval process with the FAA and Transport Canada. Over the next one to two years, we will continue testing and alterations on the path to certify the aircraft for passenger flight.