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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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Air Tindi aids magniX in maturing electric flight technologies
Air Tindi has joined magniX in its development of electric powertrain technology by providing a Dash 7 that will be modified for flight testing on a NASA project. The first flight is planned for 2025.
Air Tindi DHC Dash 7 is selected for collaboration with magniX, NASA and AeroTEC.

Air Tindi, a commercial operator from Yellowknife in the Canadian Northwest Territories, has become a key industry partner of magniX. It will provide a De Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft for the NASA Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project through which magniX aims to demonstrate electric propulsion technology. The first flight is planned for 2025.

"We are incredibly inspired by the partnership forged with magniX, NASA and AeroTEC on the EPFD project," says president Chris Reynolds. "We currently fly the Dash 7 with passengers and cargo to remote regions in Canada. Many of these communities are exposed to food insecurity due to high energy prices and a lack of infrastructure. We see this partnership as an opportunity to change this dynamic and positively impact these regions by reducing CO2 emissions and dependence on fossil fuels."

The aircraft will be modified by AeroTEC, a company that integrates electric propulsion on aircraft and that will design, modify and flight test the demonstrator aircraft at its flight test centre at Grant County International airport in Moses Lake, Washington.

"AeroTEC's mission is to accelerate the evolution of aerospace by partnering with innovative companies like magniX as an aircraft integrator to develop and ultimately certify new technologies," said Lee Human, president and CEO of AeroTEC. "We are honoured to have been selected by magniX and NASA as the integrator on the EPFD project. This is not only a major win for AeroTEC, but a win for Washington state, which is rapidly becoming the nation's leader in the advancement of sustainable aviation technologies."

The retrofitted DHC-7 will be powered by two PT6 engines and two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units (EPUs). The distributed propulsion system is designed to reduce operating costs and noise while increasing power efficiency. The prototype has the potential to accelerate the introduction of hybrid electric flight technologies for commercial aviation.

"magniX has proven its leadership in clean, electric aviation with the ground-breaking flights of the eBeaver and eCaravan," says magniX chairman Dominique Spragg. "This collaboration with AeroTEC highlights the Pacific Northwest as a leader in sustainable aviation and our joint commitment to showcase the core technologies that will power the future of commercial aviation."

NASA is accelerating the learnings of the integrator and providing valuable data and insights to the industry from a certification, regulatory and planning aerospace perspective. NASA's prior research and knowledge on electrification will be 'operationalised' through this demonstration. The demonstration flight is part of a multi-year programme, after NASA awarded magniX $74.3 million in 2021 to rapidly advance electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP) technologies through ground and flight-testing demonstrations over five years. magniX will also collaborate with other NASA projects on EAP development, flight test instrumentation and data analysis.

"The EPFD project provides an exciting collaboration with industry partners to advance electrified aircraft propulsion in order to expedite the use of hybrid electric systems for commercial air travel," says NASA director of integrated aviation systems programme Lee Noble. "Introducing these innovative electric propulsion technologies for existing and next-generation aircraft will help meet the aviation community's future sustainability goals."

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