Paris Air Show

MagniX Debuts All-electric Aircraft Propulsion Systems

 - June 17, 2019, 6:29 AM
The magni500 is electric aircraft propulsion developer magniX’s 750-hp answer to the industry’s quest for alternatives to conventional powerplants. It soon will be flying aboard a DHC Beaver. (Photo: David McIntosh)

U.S.-based magniX is debuting its all-electric aircraft propulsion systems in dramatic fashion this week at the Paris Air Show. Its magni250 and magni500 motors, as well as magniDrive multi-application inverter solution, are on display at its exhibit (Hall 2B, Stand DE18) and its magni250 motors are on Eviation’s prototype all-electric commuter aircraft, named Alice, which is also making its world debut in Paris this year at the static display.

MagniX aims to transform flights of up to 1,000 miles with emission-free propulsion at operating costs 60 to 80 percent below conventionally powered aircraft.
“We want to enable the electrification of aviation,” magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski told AIN.

In March, North America’s largest seaplane operator, Harbour Air, announced plans to retrofit its fleet with magniX500 propulsion systems, while conversion of its first Beaver, to be used for certification flight tests, is currently underway.

The 375-hp magni250 is intended for small aircraft, or as part of distributed propulsion systems on larger aircraft such as the three-engine Alice; the 750-hp magni500 is aimed for aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, Beechcraft King Air, de Havilland Beaver and Otter, and Cessna Caravan.

The liquid-cooled motors use lithium-ion batteries whose weight is about equivalent to the fuel the aircraft would otherwise carry—about 1,000 pounds for the magni500. MagniX expects to announce at Le Bourget another platform retrofit program, and Ganzarski said the company has been in contact with general aviation aircraft manufacturers about offering magniX motors as an option on production aircraft.

MagniX is currently working with the FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, and Australia’s CASA on certification. First flight of Harbour Air’s magniX-powered Beaver is expected in November, and approval from the FAA and Transport Canada under Part 33 regulations governing electric engines is anticipated in late 2021.

Harbour Air is expected to receive a supplemental type certificate for the installation soon thereafter, allowing the aircraft to enter commercial service, and for its retrofit program to continue.

Meanwhile, Eviation will pursue its own type certificate for Alice and will offer buyers a choice of an electric engine from either magniX or Siemens.