In an age when air travel is being rallied against because of its contribution to climate change, alternate solutions are being sought to keep the industry going without the damage to the planet.
Much like cars, one solution offered has been using electricity instead of petrol for fuel. It appears this could become an option in the near future as this week, the world’s first fully-electric commercial plane flew for 15 minutes.
The test took place on Fraser River outside Vancouver, Canada. The plane is a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver seaplane which was retrofitted with a 750-horsepower electric motor.
“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Australian engineering firm magniX, who built the electric motor, told The Guardian.
“Now we are proving that low-cost, environmentally friendly, commercial electric air travel can be a reality in the very near future,” he added.
According to CNBC, maginX and Harbour Air Seaplanes aim to build a fleet of 40 fully electrified seaplanes.
The next step for MaginX and Harbour Air is initiating the certification and approval process for the engine and retrofitting the aircraft, to make their dream of an electric-plane fleet possible.