The world’s largest all-electric aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on Thursday over Washington State. The aircfart took off around 8:00 a.m. PST and flew over Moses Lake for 28 minutes before landing.
Called the eCaravan, it is essentially a Cessna Caravan that was retrofitted an electric engine by magniX, a company specializing in the design and development of electric motors specifically for commercial aviation application.
The eCaravan is powered by use a 750-horsepower (560kW) magni500 propulsion system.
The original Cessna Caravan is one of the most widely used middle-mile planes in the world, with more than 2,600 aircraft working in 100 countries, the press release states.
For the flight test over Moses Lake in Washington State, the plane took off and climbed to 2,500 ft before cruising around over the facility.
Commentators watching the plane as it flew over head said it was ‘barely making any noise’, with a much smaller Cessna chase plane ‘twice as loud’.
“The iconic Caravan has been a workhorse of industry moving people and transporting goods on short routes for decades,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “This first flight of the eCaravan is yet another step on the road to operating these middle-mile aircraft at a fraction of the cost, with zero emissions, from and to smaller airports. These electric commercial aircraft will enable the offering of flying services of people and packages in a way previously not possible.”
magniX hopes to have a commercially available version of the eCaravan late next year – with a 100 mile range.
The Moses Lake facility, where the electric plane was being tested, is vast and was once used as an alternate landing site for the space shuttle, said magniX.
In December 2019, magniX was also the first company to test an entirely electric commercial flight – in the smaller eBeaver seaplane.