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This Cessna Aircraft Will Test an All-Electric Propulsion System

AeroTec is prepping to flight test a magniX all-electric propulsion system on a Cessna Caravan 208B turboprop plane. 

Cessna Caravan Photo: Courtesy of Cessna

Furthering the aviation communities’ aim to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2050, Seattle-based ​AeroTec—which tests, engineers and certifies aerospace projects and products—joined forces with Washington-based magniX to test the magniX 750 horsepower magni500 all-electric propulsion system on a Cessna Caravan 208B single-engined turboprop plane. The two companies are working together to get magniX’s system certified and begin flight testing by the end of 2019.

Initiatives like the AeroTec and magniX collaboration are bringing the aviation industry—which contributes 12 percent of all US carbon emissions and 4.9 percent globally—closer to eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions. magniX is on a mission to create clean and affordable commercial air travel powered by all-electric propulsion systems that produce zero emissions and increased efficiency.

“The electric-aviation revolution is very real, and AeroTec is the right team to help innovative aviation companies like magniX bring their technology to market sooner,” said Lee Human, AeroTec’s president and founder. “AeroTEC is responsible for the magni500-powered 208B’s modification design, integration and flight test.”

AeroTEC to flight test a magniX all-electric propulsion system on a Cessna Caravan 208B. 

AeroTec to flight-test a magniX all-electric propulsion system on a Cessna Caravan 208B.  Photo: Peter Howland

The Cessna Caravan is one of the world’s most used Middle Mile (traveling fewer than 1,000 miles) planes, with more than 2,600 operating in 100 countries. By refitting this aircraft with magniX’s electric-propulsion system, the industry will witness a quick hit to the emissions-reduction tally. The Caravan can seat up to 10 passengers and sports a range of 1,079 nautical miles, and it needs 2,055 feet for takeoff.

Cessna Caravan

Owners may choose from three interior packages, if not using as a cargo plane.  Photo: Courtesy Cessna

Owners configure these planes for business or cargo use, with a choice of three interior packages to luxe as little or lot as desired. The cockpit features the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite, with all kinds of displays and increased situational awareness.“Retrofitting an iconic workhorse like the Cessna Caravan for the first time is no small feat. Through our work with AeroTec, we are committed to meeting and exceeding expectations of our solution so we can continue to advance electric aviation,” said magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. “Electrifying existing aircraft enables flexible, clean air-travel…at a fraction of the cost. And for operators not ready to make the leap into new, clean-sheet, all-electric aircraft, retrofitting the Cessna Caravan provides a solution that allows them to reap the benefits of clean, cost-effective aviation in a shorter time frame.”

Cessna Caravan Garmin

The Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite aims for greater situational awareness.  Photo: Courtesy of Cessna

magniX began production of the propulsion system this spring, and AeroTec is busy modifying aircraft in anticipation of the new system. The first flight is scheduled for the end of this year at the AeroTec’s Flight Test Center in Moses Lake, Wash.

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