MagniX Powers Eviation’s First Alice All-Electric Commuter Flight
When Eviation’s electric aircraft demonstrator Alice took to the skies earlier this week, it wasn’t the only test flight milestone. The commuter aircraft platform was powered by two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units (EPU). MagniX is one of the startups contributing to the electric flight revolution and doing so by turning permanent magnet motors and superconducting technologies into electric propulsion units.
“Alice’s maiden flight represents the new dawn of electric flight and reinforces magniX’s leadership in the electric propulsion industry,” said magniX CEO Nuno Taborda following the successful demonstration flight of Evasion on Alice.
So far, magniX has developed a family of electric propulsion units (EPUs) for aerospace and defense applications that the company says run on multiple power sources, including batteries and fuel cells. In addition to Alice, the Seattle, Washington-based company has also rolled out its concept by retrofitting a de Havilland Beaver on floats, a Cessna Grand Caravan and a Robinson R44 helicopter.
The company is now focused on obtaining FAA Part 33 certification, which is the section that determines airworthiness standards for aircraft engines, in addition to issuing and modifying type certificates for powertrains. MagniX said in a statement that the FAA had granted it the first, and to its knowledge, the only, special conditions to establish full certification of electric aircraft propulsion.
Last year, NASA awarded magniX $74.3 million through the space agency’s Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) program to develop electric propulsion technologies for aircraft for introduction into aviation fleets by 2035.
As part of this partnership with NASA, in April this year magniX teamed up with AeroTEC and Air Tindi to power a de Havilland Canada Dash 7 hybrid aircraft, with a first flight scheduled for 2025. When that happens, the upgraded DHC-7 aircraft will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6 engines and two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units (EPU).