The world’s largest all-electric aircraft completed its first successful flight on Thursday. The Cessna Caravan aircraft is retrofitted with an electric engine and flew for about 290km before landing safely in Moses Lake.
The plane holds a seating capacity of nine passengers. However, for the maiden flight, there was only the test pilot present. The aircraft can cruise at 183kmph and its makers, magniX hopes that it could enter commercial service by the end of 2021 with a range of 100 miles.
Ahead of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation sector was one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions around the world. In light of the same, a slew of companies has taken up building electric planes. One of the biggest obstacles that stand in the way is the challenge of building lightweight batteries that can be accommodated in large planes.
WATCH: The world's largest all-electric aircraft made its first successful flight, landing safely in Moses Lake, Washington, about 180 miles southeast of Seattle pic.twitter.com/4ElOKM8JbS— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) May 29, 2020
By retrofitting an existing plane, magniX hopes to accelerate the process of approval in the industry that is otherwise heavily regulated to ensure safety. In similar news, a smaller seaplane powered by a magniX-engine completed a short flight in December.
The Cessna Caravan used to build the aircraft is one of the most used medium-range planes, with more than 2,600 operating in over 100 countries.