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World’s first all electric commercial plane is set for takeoff in Richmond, BC, Canada

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BC’s Harbour Air is working to get regulatory approval for the world’s first all electric commercial plane. (www.cbc.ca) Altro...

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rapidwolve
rapidwolve 3
Well they did it. Greg McDougall and the electric DHC-2 successfully flew first test flight. They did resort to using lead acid batteries as they are "tried and tested", but had a glitch in the charging system Monday, which was rectified in time. Hopefully lithium tech keeps progressing upward.
https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/harbour-air-completes-world-s-first-electric-aircraft-test-flight-1.4723636

Congrats Greg, Harbour Air and Magni
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 5
Good that they are getting somewhere with electric planes. But it was stated recently that a full passenger jet will take over 20 years more to develop.
wopri
Yes, even electric flights of 2 hours will take Many years to be a reality. Harbour Air on the other hand has many of their scheduled flights at 30 minutes or less, making them a ideal candidate for the introduction of electric commercial planes. As, among others, they serve the islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, they also have the clientele for this experiment. Some people say for example that Saltspring Island is the last holdout of the hippies of the 70ties, and for them the noise reduction and the reduction in air pollution is probably a good marketing argument.

Harbour Air claims to be the largest operator of seaplanes in the world.
drrecommended
Greg Stolz 4
I am a resident of Vancouver Island and have been flying Harbour Air to get to Vancouver for business for years. They are an amazing company, with amazing culture and are always innovating. It is sooooo cool to be able to watch this unfold before our eyes here!!
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 2
If the little Beaver does as it should, and the flight is a success, I am betting Greg will get Ballard's ear and swap out those batteries for their fuel cell

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cowboybob
cowboybob 3
Kittyhawk? hardly....

Electric might have it's place in operations such as this...but long haul, that's quite another story. It's not a matter of making bigger planes that work (fly), it's a matter of range vs. load that makes any sense....as many may know, batteries don't get lighter as you empty them, so you are dragging that dead weight the entire route. And the ability to adjust loading based on payload desired is not easy schlepping batteries about (they're heavy maybe?), but suppose they can get it to the point of loading/unloading them with the luggage...not trivial it would seem.

Improvements in battery technology will help some, but the current chemistries will certainly have their limits. They'll need something else more radical to make a dent in jet engine powered technology over the breadth of the market. Now....having worked in rocket science for a good while, put a fuel cell in this bad boy and you might get onto something...quick...but alas, it uses cryogenic hydrogen/oxygen which much be produced, much like jet fuel and distributed....like electricity. Nothing is easy...or free. Electric powered Everything Will Not "save the world" from whatever it is that it needs saving from, so relax and enjoy the ride...heh.

Let's see how Harbor does with this little venture over time...let the market decide if it lives or dies...I won't be swayed by greenies spewing talking points.
JohnSmythe
John Smythe 1
The ultimate question is:
Do i use Duracell or the one with the crazy bunny that beats the drum....hmmmm
v1v2
Jim Ward 1
How many batteries are we talking about? Batteries are heavy how do they react at high altitudes? They would be in some series and parallel strings spanning
From aft to fwd of aircraft. Empty weight
Alone would be huge before passengers and luggage. Ever seen a laptop or cell phone battery catch fire ? Perhaps design it based on a Toyota Prius ?
wopri
The batteries we are talking about have successfully been used on spacecraft. I don’t think a Beaver will reach that altitude. As for how many, they are supposedly sufficient for one hour flight time, and the majority of Harbour Air flights are 30 minutes or less.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 6
Getting these aircraft turned around won’t require battery swaps or hours of recharging. High-voltage charging systems should be able to fully charge the batteries in about 30 minutes.
tsilver473
And the power comes from? gresus?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Basically it is a Coal Powered Aircraft...
mutrock
Mark Kortum 12
Another thing that makes Harbour Air a good candidate. The majority of their power (on the mainland) is hydroelectric dams, unlike most other locations.
n555cf
rbt schaffer 1
Up vote for you .... Now a bank of solar panels takes up 14% of the land area needed to meet the same electric production as current reservoirs. Battery storage just around the corner and soon we may see wild rivers with NO dams and wild salmon runs once again. a very healthy idea.
offships
Sorry. Sparkie. No electricity is generated from coal in British Columbia, and 86% is generated from hydro. Overall, renewable sources account for 94% of B.C.'s electrical generation. So much for the imagined need of "clean coal". https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/nrg/sttstc/lctrct/rprt/2016cndrnwblpwr/prvnc/bc-eng.html
wopri
Of course it would be a shame to get lower operating costs, lower maintenance costs, less noise and less air pollution in places like Victoria Harbour, right downtown, in front of the Legislative Assembly, and all that for naught.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 3
Just curious why you think it's a hoax?
Eassa
Hussam Eassa -3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 3
Ok so a Youtube video explains it all, canuck44??
speshulk99
john kilcher 1
Please go away or comment in an intelligent fashion.
hortod1
dj horton 0
You’re waiting for the ‘hoax’ to be disproven?

Either English is hard for you or you need to go back and review your regurgitated faux news talking points.

Or both.
atanudey
Atanu Dey -1
canuck44, you forgot the population explosion (nee population bomb) that would kill billions.

When the CC is buried, it will be "OMG, the continents are going to clash" and we'll all drown. :)
bentwing60
bentwing60 0
I guess I beat MH to the punch here that the Boeing 787 fleet was grounded shortly after its intro. due to Li.Ion battery fires. The fix was a stainless steel containment box that, together with the battery, probably weighs more than the conventional battery it replaced. NBAA still has several current advisories for corporate ops. relating to said battery issues, particularly loose batteries in inaccessible stowage.

Not to be the nanny, but unintended or unenvisioned consequences in aviation can be expensive and fatal. If you don't believe that just ax anybody here that has been beatin the merde out of Boeing over the MAX and two airplanes that both hit the deck with the throttles at 94%.

Sorry for the drift, but I hope it starts just east of mexifornia John.
wopri
I guess that’s why they use a NASA designed battery that’s not the best in energy density, but has proven to be very safe on spacecraft.
bentwing60
bentwing60 -3
You make a valid point, as usual, but I didn't miss the Challenger or Columbia events either.
wopri
Was there a battery involved in those two accidents?
bentwing60
bentwing60 -2
No, but NASA validation of the technology was and let's just say that I don't consider NASA to be the current pinnacle of innovation any more than many here seem to consider Boeing in the same light.

Technology, sometimes it leads to the stars, sometimes it leads to the dirt.
wopri
Ok, I understand what you mean, and I agree with the general thrust of your argument, but as far as batteries are concerned, NASA has a pretty good track record. Maybe because most of the basic development was done some time ago when the proportion bean counters to engineers was better.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -9
And Electric Float Plane... Hmm... Water and Electricity do not make good companions... Taking off from a runway is a bad enough... Don't think I will get getting on one anytime soon.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 9
Umm..what about all the electric autos on the road...they run through rain and snow all the time.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -7
I think they are a Fire Hazard.... If they catch on fire, due to the composition of the batteries (Lithium Polymer) they have the tendency to catch on fire... Water WILL NOT put these fires out. Only way to put them out is to disconnect them and if they internally short they cannot be put out and can explode... Tesla even released a training video to show them how to cut the battery Cable and to cut people out of the car... Keep in mind, that most localities are not equipped to put out this kind of fire... Further more, being in the air and the battery catches fire.... No thanks.... Keep in mind we are talking about the same type of battery that took the UPS Plane down near Dubai..

I think this is an accident that is waiting to happen... In my opinion if that plane catches fire that you have a slim chance of landing in time... It would be a Burning Hell.. Forgive the terminology!
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 3
Ummm...I do not know where u got info from, but worse thing u can do, in a Li-ion or Li-Po battery fire, is try disconnecting them. Tesla's training video is not something I agree on at all, and I've worked on Hybrid technology. Most times, if its a small Li-Po/Li-ion battery that is on fire a Class C is good, but all localities have Class D equipment to snuff out magnesium etc fires and they will extinguish a Li-Po/Li-ion fire..it is not the metal but the evap gases that are ablaze. And 1 is mandated to be carried on the aircraft. Same for 787's...they use, Li-Po/Li-ion technology as well as do other craft.
And no, the batteries that took down the UPS plane were not well insulated toughened shell cases like these units, and with your thinking, best get rid of that cell phone, tablet computer, watch, laptop etc as they all have Li-Po/Li-ion batteries in them.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -2
You you are flying along in that plane... The Battery catches Fire... You are at 3500 feet or so... How are you going to out it out... Most planes that size does not have an extinguisher system for the battery!
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 6
The battery catches fire? It suffocates itself while sealed in it's chamber...why do you think Boeing took the LiPo 787 batteries and placed them inside a chamber? So if a problem arose, the oxygen would be consumed too quickly to allow a bad situation worse.
And yes, 1 of the mandates is a Class D extinguisher be aboard.
bentwing60
bentwing60 0
Lithium cobalt oxide(LiCoO2), let that sink in, not LiPo was the original Yuasa manufactured battery composition for the 787. It says OXIDE right in the chemical compound name of the battery. Oxide means oxidizer as a compound constituent and will readily supply O2 to any other constituent that is flammable, er, lithium, in said compound. The box was to isolate the happily burning battery with no outside O2 source from other vulnerable components in the same bay. Not, to deprive it of O2 of which it had an internal source. They had no other certified battery or source to replace it! So, "The enclosure Boeing had to add is 185 lb (84 kg) heavier, negating the lighter battery potential."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_787_Dreamliner_battery_problems
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 2
I do stand partially corrected in that they were not Li-Po's, however they are a Li-ion battery. LiCoO2 is the coating on the positive electrode plates. While many may say it's a LiCoO2 battery, it is not. It is still a Li-ion battery. That being said, even with your snarkiness "let that sink in", LiCoO2 will not "readily" supply oxygen. Yes it will supply it, but Lithium Cobalt Oxide atoms must reach approx. 132 degrees C before the atoms start to break down and supply oxygen. Actually, the FAA never signed off on the Yuasa batteries. They approved MPS supplied batteries which used a different cell structure coating on the electrodes.
The box was added both as a safety measure for other components around it, as well as to suffocate any potential outside oxygen source from being present, should a thermal runaway (fire) occur. That enclosure...if they had used old battery tech, it would have been a whole lot more weight, than 185lbs added on top of the Li-ion battery weight.
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
I am under the impression that the lithium powered ELT which caught fire in the empty 787 parked at LHR in 2013 would have been inaccessible from the cabin in flight, so it would have been irrelevant whether or not a suitable extinguisher was on board.
rapidwolve
rapidwolve 1
True for that incident...but the Beaver electric, which I was referring to must have the extinguisher.
KobeHunte
Kobe Hunte 3
I am sure that they won't let the water and the electricity mesh.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -1
Just add a little salt and they will mix great!
SorenTwin
SorenTwin 3
At 3500 feet, apparently.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 1
I too have wondered about that.

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