The world’s largest all-electric aircraft is set to fly for the first time. Christened as the Cessna Caravan, the aircraft is retrofitted with an electric engine and is slated to fly for about 20 to 30 minutes over Washington today.
The plane holds a seating capacity of nine passengers. However, for the maiden flight, there will be 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.
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.