Harbour Air’s Electric Seaplane To Fly
Converting possibly their whole fleet of Beavers to all- electric is slated to impress upon die-hard Greta Thunberg followers and it has sparked much excitement and anticipation within the aviation world. Those fortunate enough to receive news releases from the folks at Harbour have covered the topic somewhat half-heatedly, however we remain highly excited and positive about the development. The monumental crossroads is in the details, to be revealed at a later time, when someone with a fine pencil scrutinizes the profit and loss sheets.
After Harbour Air successfully flies it’s first all magni 500 powered Beaver off the water for the first time later this month, financial viability and operational reliability will determine where the project goes. Experts foresee a big dam breaking, yielding a major flood of business for those who thought it possible.
Owners of smaller GA (lets say < 250 HP) aircraft may or may not have to wait a while longer before converting their beloved 40 -50 year old steam-machine to an all out modern electric airframe, hopefully ADS-B compliant, by then. The magni 500 is said to develop 750SHP, quite enough to move a Caravan, Beaver, or if applied twice, a cabin class business aircraft like a King Air, while the magni 250 is going to be developing up to 375 SHP, well suited to replace most of the the noisy fossil fuel burning parts on a Cessna 421 or so.
Even though the first German taxicab driver in Berlin who used a Tesla, has thrown in the towel after discovering raised costs for electrical power and complaining about a lack of charging infrastructure the aviation industry seems to truck on with the idea to convert us all. The cost of electrical power, power-grid issues as well as a lack of infrastructure and range, so far makes all electric automobiles a categorical non starter for most climate-change hyped Europeans. The world remains to learn if the feat of ZES (Zero Emission Seaplanes) will melt the cheese.