The first-ever seaplane was manufactured in 1910 — and the aircraft has come a long way since.
On Tuesday, December 10th, an electric seaplane took flight on the Fraser River, marking the first test of a commercial fully electric aircraft. Vancouver-based Harbour Air performed the test flight. Greg McDougall, the founder and chief executive of Harbour Air, flew the yellow retrofitted, six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver floatplane.
McDougall flew a total of three minutes in the air over Richmond, British Columbia, before landing.
The world’s first electric seaplane! https://t.co/YBOIAQJIKP
— Harbour Air Seaplanes (@HarbourAirLtd) December 10, 2019
According to CBC, this is the first flight in a two-year process required to get the plane certified for commercial use.
Reportedly, Habour Air collaborated with MagniX, a Seattle-based company, to design the e-plane’s propulsion system. The seaplane features NASA-approved lithium-ion batteries that were also used on the International Space Station.