Electric for Australia

A joint announcement on December 9  by magniX, the firm based in Everett, Washington, that flew an all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan for the first time on May 28, and Sydney Seaplanes, which has been offering scenic tours for decades, laid out a plan to work with Dante Aeronautical of Madrid, to secure the first STC approval for an electric airplane in Australia.

The collaborators hope to have that STC by 2023.

“This is another terrific milestone for the electric aviation revolution and one that magniX is thrilled to be a part of as the industry continues to innovate,” said magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski, in the news release. “Expanding with STC partners globally on more and more aircraft platforms means more sustainable air travel brought to market and to the masses. And for operators, the all-electric aircraft provides the benefits of clean, cost-effective aviation.”

While certification might be a first, magniX has already stirred international interest in electrification of aircraft, including seaplanes. Another seaplane operator in Canada has been working since 2019 to electrify its own fleet, and flew a magniX-powered de Havilland DHC–2 Beaver in December 2019. That flight, and the ongoing effort, prompted plaudits for Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in September.

Also in September, another program aiming to eliminate aviation emissions announced the selection of the magniX powerplant for integration in a larger de Havilland design, the 40-seat DHC–8-Q300 turboprop better known as the Dash 8. Universal Hydrogen is developing a hydrogen fuel cell system that would power the magniX motors on this Dash 8 conversion.

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