The carbon credentials of the aviation have once again come under fire this week, with news that Ryanair is now one of the EU’s most-emitting corporates having hit the headlines on Tuesday (2 April). The good news is that the development of low-carbon alternatives to traditional aircraft, which mainly consist of either alternative fuels or electrified planes, is now well underway.
One innovation in this field comes from Canadian seaplane airline Harbour Air, which recently partnered with electric transport startup magniX to develop a system capable of electrifying its existing aircraft. The process involves removing the combustion engine and installing a fully-electric 750-horsepower electric motor called the magni500.
Harbour Air expects to conduct its first flight tests of the all-electric aircraft in late 2019, beginning with just the pilot and crew. If the trials prove successful, a large proportion of the aircraft’s entire fleet – which transports 500,000 passengers annually – could be retrofitted in the coming years.