Thursday, May 28, 2020

Explained: What we know of the largest electric powered flight expected today

In a breakthrough for electric flight technology, a 750-horsepower electric engine made by MagniX, an Australian electric motor manufacturer, will power a Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft to fly for an expected 20-30 minutes over Washington state. This will be the largest aircraft ever to fly on electric power.

In December last year, an engine from the same company powered a seaplane in Vancouver, Canada, in what was described as the “world’s first” 100 per cent electric flight.
The retrofitted Caravan plane, which can carry nine passengers, is expected to take off at 8 am Pacific time (8:30 pm in India) on May 28, and will fly at a speed of 183 kmph, as per a Guardian report. However, for its first journey, a test pilot will fly the plane alone.

The plane selected, a Cessna 208 Caravan, is a popular utility aircraft around the world since the 1980s, with over 2,600 currently being operated for commuter airlines, air cargo, VIP transport, flight training, and humanitarian missions. MagniX aims at commercial operations over a 100-mile range by 2021, and hopes retrofitting its engine to a Caravan would speed up regulatory approvals.

According to a CNBC report, such electric flights could require significantly less maintenance compared to fuel-based aircraft, and could lead to short-distance flights becoming cheaper, thus helping make it more viable for airlines to fly to remote locations.

Apart from MagniX, several companies are involved in making electric flights a reality. The ride-sharing company Uber has announced air taxis to fly as early as 2023. Major industry players such as Airbus and Rolls Royce, a number of startups, as well as the space agency NASA are involved in developing electric flight technologies.
28/05/20 Indian Express
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment