The world’s largest all-electric plane has successfully completed a test flight, the first step in a long process its developers say will led to an era of low-cost, pollution-free air travel. A nine-passenger, all-electric Cessna 208 flew for 30 minutes on Thursday. Seattle-based electric motor manufacturer Magnix teamed with local airline Harbour Air to retrofit a Cessna Grand Caravan 208 with a 750-horesepower zero-emissions motor and conducted its first test over Moses Lake, Washington, Thursday. The 37-foot Caravan is one of the most popular medium-range commuter airliners in the world. It can carry up to nine passengers. Observers of the 30-minute test flight say they could barely hear any noise from the plane. In fact, the much smaller, fuel-engine powered Cessna chase plane accompanying the test plane made far more noise, observers said.
Magnix CEO Roei Ganzarski knows this is just the first step in a long process through approvals and improvements that will permit his new generation of green engines to power larger commercial airliners. Ganzarski says his electric planes will not only contribute greatly to a healthier world, but they offer other benefits, too. With no complex fuel engines, electric-generated planes will require less maintenance and they could be up to 80 percent less expensive per hour to operate than fuel-engine planes. This means lower ticket prices and greater incentives for airlines to establish routes to smaller airports and less-popular regions currently underserved by the airline giants.