December 12, 2019
When the first electric-powered airplane took flight earlier this week for seven minutes, magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski said the excitement of the moment felt like the birth of another child.
"It is, indeed, exciting," Ganzarski told Cheddar on Thursday. "Now the real work begins. We have to teach them what they can do, and we have to release them into the wild later on to be the leader of the industry."
MagniX and Harbour Air hope that the launch of the first all-electric commercial flight will set off the future of sustainable air, which could provide the potential for cheaper, easier, and cleaner air travel.Harbour Air/magniX
To enable this week's historic flight, Harbour Air retrofitted a 62-year-old, six-passenger seaplane to run off of batteries. Next, it plans to convert its fleet in order to offer all-electric passenger flights starting in 2021.
MagniX developed the magni500 electric propulsion systems used in the aircraft. Ganzarski said the company had to create a system light enough and powerful enough to get a plane into the air and did so by using a combination of magnets and copper coils that create torque by turning around each other.
Ultimately, the aircraft is expected to complete flights of 30 minutes with reserve "fuel" remaining.
Ganzarski said the clean engine will allow Harbor Air to fly on an engine that "costs 50 percent to 80 percent less per hour" and "fly more places at lower ticket prices and all completely clean."
"It's not less emission, it's zero emissions," he added.