‘Major milestone’: Harbour Air completes another electric seaplane test flight

Aug 20, 2022

Photo: Harbour Air

B.C. company Harbour Air says it has completed its first point-to-point test flight with its electric seaplane, nicknamed the “e-Beaver.”

The modified De Havilland Beaver, which was retrofitted to run entirely on electric power back in 2019, completed the 72.4-kilometre test flight on Wednesday morning, the company said. The flight from the Fraser River in the Lower Mainland to Patricia Bay on the coast of Vancouver Island took about 24 minutes to complete – with the company calling the test a “major milestone” in the plane’s development.

“I am excited to report that this historic flight on the e-plane went exactly as planned,” said Kory Paul, vice president of flight operations for Harbour Air, and one of the company’s e-plane test pilots.

Our team as well as the team at magniX and Transport Canada are always closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance and [Wednesday’s] flight further proved the safety and reliability of what we have built,” he said in a release Thursday.

The plane will stay in Victoria over the next several days, with the e-Beaver scheduled to fly over the BC Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island during an open house at the museum on Saturday. After that, the plane will be sent back to the Vancouver International Airport where Harbour Air has an “aerospace maintenance facility.”

In 2019, Harbour Air made headlines for completing the world’s first test flight of an electric-powered commercial aircraft. Last summer, the company said it was hoping to launch its first all-electric commercial flight with passengers in 2023.

Source: Adam Chan, CTV, and Simon Little, CBC-BC)

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