The Harbour Air ePlane team announced that it has completed the first-of-its-kind all-electric point test flight using a retrofitted seaplane. The historic De Havilland Beaver retrofitted to operate using 100% electricity successfully landed after a 45 miles (72.4 km) test flight that lasted for 24 minutes.
The fondly nicknamed “eBeaver,” the aircraft left its terminal on the Fraser River in the Lower Mainland and landed in Patricia Bay on the coast of Vancouver Island, demonstrating the viability of its cleaner approach for short-haul flights. The aircraft took off at 8:12 am with ample reserve power upon landing at 8:36 am. This is a major milestone in the advancement of all-electric commercial flights.
“I am excited to report that this historic flight on the ePlane went exactly as planned,” said Kory Paul, Harbour Air’s Vice President of Flight Operations and one of the company’s test Pilots. “Our team, as well as the team at magniX and Transport Canada, are always closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance, and today’s flight further proved the safety and reliability of what we have built.”
The De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver aircraft was modified to completely shave off its dependency on regular fuel to adopt a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. In December 2019, the modified aircraft took off to complete the first successful flight of an all-electric commercial aircraft. The company has since continued this testing program. Harbour Air hopes to have regular passengers onboard starting from 2023.
The eBeaver will stay in Victoria to support Harbour Air’s partnership with the BC Aviation Museum, which is hosting an Open House, before returning back to Harbour Air’s Aerospace Maintenance Facility at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for its regular “checkup.”