The world’s largest all-electric plane has completed its maiden flight over Washington state in the United States.
The plane in question was a Cessna Grand Caravan that had been retrofitted with an electric engine.
It took off and climbed to 2,500 feet before dropping to 1,000 feet and cruising around before coming down to land.
The Cessna Grand Canyon is a nine-seater plane that’s one of the most-used medium-range planes in the world. Dubbed the ‘eCaravan’, the plane was modded by a firm called magniX and flown at a facility known as Moses Lake in the US that once used as an alternative landing spot for Nasa’s space shuttles.
The plane moved silently through the air and was followed by a chase plane filming the flight for a live stream.
While in the air the eCaravan pilot performed a number of manoeuvres to test the movement and safety of the aircraft – all while the chase plane filmed it for ‘assessment and posterity’.
Roei Ganzarski, the CEO of magniX, told The Guardian that electric engines for aeroplanes were essential for reducing the carbon emission impact.
He said electric planes will be cheaper to operate due to the reduced need for fossil fuels – between 40 per cent and 70 per cent less expensive per flight hour.
‘That means operators will be able to fly more planes into smaller airports, meaning a shorter and door-to-door experience, with no harmful CO2 emissions,’ he said.
He said all flights of under 1,000 miles will be made by all-electric aircraft within the next 15 years but battery technology needs to improve first.
It is currently better suited for ultra-short flights of about 100 miles – when the electric engine is added to an existing aircraft.