A plane has successfully managed to perform a 30 minute flight over Washington State late last week. What makes this achievement so impressive is the fact that it was powered by an all-electric motor.
The plane was a slightly modified Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. The Grand Caravan was outfitted with MagniX’s battery-powered electric engine, the Magni250, which turns 375 horsepower into up to 3000 RPM.
MagniX, the company that made this flight possible, emerged in 2009 to disrupt the air travel industry by making alternative power more attractive for owner operators. The company’s team includes members from companies like Airbus, Boeing, Google-X, SpaceX, and Tesla, according to its website.
Take a look at the flight below:
— magniX (@MagniX) May 28, 2020
The emergence of electric planes has led many to believe that electric motors are the future of aviation. However, major airlines know this is not the case. In order for a passenger fairing airplane to perform long haul flights using nothing more than electric power, it would require extremely heavy batteries, thus making the plane far too heavy to fly.
Instead, electric planes could one day be used to perform much shorter flights, which would be a good thing for the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere.
Short haul flights have double the “carbon intensity,” or amount of carbon burned per mile, than longer flights because simply taking off from a runway burns a large amount of fuel. An electric plane could both reduce the amount of fuel used during takeoff while still being able to reach its destination.