The world’s first electric aircraft took off from Vancouver, Canada, and completed its first test flight. According to reports, the aircraft was modified from a seaplane and was piloted by Harbor Air founder and CEO Greg McDougall on the day of the test flight.
According to reports, McDougall piloted the plane for a brief flight over the Fraser River near Vancouver International Airport. Shortly after the sun rose that day, about 100 onlookers gathered around.
“Our goal is to truly electrify the entire fleet. There’s no reason not to,” McDougall said.
In addition to fuel efficiency, he said the company will save millions of dollars in maintenance costs because the electric motors require “significantly” less maintenance.
However, Harbor Air will have to wait at least two years before it can start powering its fleet of more than 40 seaplanes.
The report pointed out that electric aircraft require further testing to confirm their reliability and safety. Additionally, electric motors must be approved and certified by regulatory agencies.
In Ottawa, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said before the test flight that he was “praying that the electric plane will operate properly” and that if successful, “it will lead to a trend towards more environmentally friendly flying.”
“This proves that an all-electric form of commercial aviation is possible,” said Roy Ganzaski, CEO of Seattle-based engineering firm MagniX.