MOSES LAKE - When wheels of the magniX eCaravan aircraft left the runway at the Grant County International Airport last week, it broke a barrier that could change the way we travel.
On May 28, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan retrofitted with an electric motor and large lithium-ion battery became the largest electric airship to successfully complete an airborne test flight.
The configured craft was the work of Redmond, Washington-based magniX and AeroTEC in Moses Lake.
A successful flight of the 10-seat plane was a major feat, but what’s astounding was the cost to operate the craft during its 30-minute voyage above Moses Lake.
Reportedly, it only used $6 of electricity vs. the $300 cost of kerosene fuel. MagniX CEO Roel Ganzarski says the magniX propulsion system will enable the reduction of aircraft operating costs by 60-80%.
“This will introduce a new era of aviation that will shape the way we think about flying and travel. With over 15,000 airports in the United States alone, low-cost electric aviation will enable society and redefine the suburbs, from driving an hour or more to work to flying 15 minutes to work. With aircraft that can carry 6-12 people to and from smaller airports, with no need for long TSA lines, commuting to work or visiting friends will be redefined,” Ganzarski told iFIBER ONE News.
In addition, Ganzarski says 12% of CO2 output in the U.S. comes is generated by airplanes.
“Having a completely clean aviation system is the only way we can progress as a society,” Ganzarski explained.
MagniX is hoping to have certification for the propulsion system by the end of 2021, with the aircraft possibly certified to operate commercially as early as 2022.