The first public demonstration of world’s largest all electric aircraft took place in inland Moses Lake, Washington. The specially fitted Cessna 208B Grand Caravan took off with a chase plane, one designated to assist and document the flight, for a 30-minute flight.
The Grand Caravan is outfitted with magniX’s battery-powered electric engine, the Magni250, which turns 375 horsepower into up to 3000 RPM. The Cessna is a propeller plane, and the engine literally turns torque into propulsion.
For short passenger flights on the electric 208, at a cruising altitude of perhaps 4,000 to 5,000 feet, the glide distance would only be about 5 or 6 miles—hardly enough to make a difference in the big scheme of flight time or distance. But aerospace engineers could design electric-native planes with gliding potential in mind. For now, 30 minutes of continuous flight is enough to cover about 100 miles at the 208’s cruising speed of 214 miles per hour.
The engine maker, magniX , hopes the aircraft could enter commercial service by the end of 2021 and have a range of 100 miles.