Harbour Air, North America's largest seaplane operator; electric aviation company magniX, and H55, the Swiss spin off from Solar Impulse that produces efficient certified battery packs, have announced a partnership to certify the world's first electric Beaver (eBeaver) commuter aircraft through an STC programme.
The companies will collaborate together with Transport Canada to certify the installation of the magniX electric propulsion unit and the H55 enhanced battery system, transforming Harbour Air's seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet.
After the successful first flight of the Harbour Air eBeaver powered by magniX in December 2019 and the ongoing flight tests since then, the companies have teamed up with H55 to bring their shared vision of clean, efficient and quiet commercial aviation to life by 2022. H55 will provide its proven modular battery technology to expand the eBeaver's balance to weight ratio and endurance. The company's battery modules have one of the highest energy densities on the market and will provide the entire energy storage system and redundant battery monitoring at the cell level for the eBeaver.
H55 executive chairman André Borschberg comments: “We have been attracted by Harbour Air and magniX's vision, pioneering spirit and commitment to make aviation clean. The collaboration will leverage our synergies and complementarities. We all understand that the path to electric aviation is complicated. But at the same time, by joining forces, our combined experience will lead to quicker certification. And this in turn will offer a fast and safe way to reach the market and popularise electric aviation.”
Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall adds: “I believe that H55 is the leading company in aviation battery solutions. Having it as a partner in the ePlane development means that we will be able to lead the global push for electric aviation.”
Since the first flight in 2019, the eBeaver has performed additional flight tests to measure and collect data on cruise performance and take-off thrust efficiency, electro-magnetic interference (EMI), battery management software logic, noise levels and more. magniX, Harbour Air and H55 will work on design optimisation for the electric propulsion unit (EPU), energy storage system (ESS) and related aircraft systems based on ongoing flight testing.
MagniX CEO Roel Ganzarski concludes: “This partnership is another step forward in our vision of making emission free, all-electric aircraft a reality. With Harbour Air leading the way to become an all-electric airline, H55's battery technology and magniX's flight-proven propulsion, we are looking at an electrifying future.”