Harbour Air Plans All Electric Fleet

HarbourImage: Copyright Harbour Air

Harbour Air Plans All Electric Fleet

The world’s largest seaplane airline will be the first electrically-powered airline and plans to convert its entire fleet of 41 vintage de Havilland Beaver, Otter and Twin Otter aircraft and one Cessna Caravan to electric motors. Harbour Air, which is based in Vancouver, Canada, runs daily scheduled service between Seattle and Vancouver and to various cities on B.C.’s west coast and Vancouver Island.


Image: Copyright Harbour Air

Harbour Air is teaming with Washington State-based magniX which has developed a 750-horsepower electric motor and battery pack that gives a maximum endurance of about an hour for the heritage airframes (some of them more than 60 years old) that will carry them.

Since most of Harbour Air’s flights are 30 minutes or less, the motors and batteries currently available will serve most routes. “But that’s changing very rapidly with the development of the battery technology.” McDougall said. The airline hopes to fly a prototype Beaver by November and then go for certification for passenger service.

“What we’re doing here is retrofitting new technology to older technology. The cost is very similar to us putting a turbine engine on the aircraft, but the big win there is that the electric motor doesn’t have to be rebuilt every 2,500 to 3,000 hours,” he said. “It’s got very few moving parts and it doesn’t consume fossil fuel.”

1 Comment on "Harbour Air Plans All Electric Fleet"

  1. Junichi Totoki | April 3, 2019 at 12:09 am |

    I’m seaplane pilot. I don’t think, the electrified never be environmental friendly. Because, large amount of radio active wastes, it’s called NORM, have been produced while refining or processing the rare metals or rare earth. You can see a lawsuit against rare earth processing plant concerning radio active substances pollution in Malaysia. So sorry, but I think, the thought that the electrified is environmental friendly is easy going thinking.

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