The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
First Commercial Electric Plane Flight Opens New Era in Aviation
A Canadian seaplane operator on Tuesday successfully test flew the world's first all-electric commercial aircraft, in a three-minute flight it said had launched a new era of aviation.
Vancouver-based Harbour Air, which claims to be North America's largest seaplane airline, and Seattle-based all-electric propulsionmaker magniX, tested a 63-year-old DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver retrofitted with a 750-horsepower electric motor on the Fraser River near Richmond, British Columbia.
The yellow e-plane was piloted by Harbour Air CEO and founder Greg McDougall.
"Today, we made history," McDougall said in a statement.
Here's a look at the Harbour Air eplane test flight this morning. The age of electric aviation is right around the corner. pic.twitter.com/HzFekRhAXR— Karin Larsen (@CBCLarsen) December 10, 2019
"In December 1903, the Wright Brothers launched a new era of transportation — the aviation age — with the first flight of a powered aircraft. Today, 116 years later, with the first flight of an all-electric powered commercial aircraft, we launched the electric era of aviation," said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX.
Global aviation is a major source of climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions.
Ganzarski said that in addition to zero emissions, e-planes are low-cost and will allow savings on fuel.
Harbour Air plans to electrify its entire fleet of more than 40 aircraft.
But first, the e-plane has to begin a two-year certification and approval process for the propulsion system and the retrofitting of aircraft, the companies said in a statement.
One limitation is that an aircraft like that one flown Tuesday can only fly 100 miles (160 kilometers) on lithium battery power, said Ganzarski.
However, that range is sufficient for most short-haul flights run by Harbour Air.
Several other companies are also working on electric planes, including Boeing and Airbus.
Reposted with permission from DW.
- EasyJet Plans to Fly Electric Planes Within 10 Years - EcoWatch ›
- Norway Aims for Electric Planes to Help Slow Climate Change ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Charli Shield
At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.