magniX Announces Milestone in NASA Program to Accelerate Electric Flight Technologies for Commercial Aviation

May 2, 2022

magniX, a manufacturer of electric propulsion systems for aircraft, today announced two key industry partners, AeroTEC and Air Tindi, for its NASA Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project. Through magniX the NASA program aims to demonstrate electric propulsion technology to power a hybrid De Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft, with first flight planned for 2025.

Air Tindi, a commercial operator from Yellowknife, Canadian Northwest Territories, will provide the aircraft. AeroTEC of Seattle, Washington, USA is a leader in integrating electric propulsion on airplanes, and will design, modify, and flight-test the demonstrator aircraft at its Flight Test Centre at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington.

The retrofitted DHC-7 aircraft will be powered by two PT6 engines and two magniX magni650 electric propulsion units (EPUs). The distributed propulsion system is designed to reduce operating costs and noise while increasing power efficiency. The prototype has the potential to accelerate the introduction of hybrid electric flight technologies for commercial aviation.

“magniX has proven its leadership in clean, electric aviation with the ground-breaking flights of the eBeaver and eCaravan,” said Dominique Spragg, Chairman of magniX. “This collaboration with AeroTEC highlights the Pacific Northwest as leaders in sustainable aviation and our joint commitment to showcase the core technologies that will power the future of commercial aviation.”

Advancing Electric Flight

NASA is accelerating the learnings of the integrator and providing valuable data and insights to the industry from a certification, regulatory and planning aerospace perspective. NASA’s prior research and knowledge on electrification will be “operationalized” through this demonstration. The demonstration flight is part of a multi-year program, after NASA awarded magniX $74.3 million in 2021 to rapidly advance Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) technologies through ground and flight-testing demonstrations over five years. magniX will also collaborate with other NASA projects on EAP development, flight test instrumentation and data analysis.

“The EPFD project provides an exciting collaboration with industry partners to advance electrified aircraft propulsion in order to expedite the use of hybrid electric systems for commercial air-travel,” said Lee Noble, NASA’s Director of Integrated Aviation Systems Program. “Introducing these innovative electric propulsion technologies for existing and next-generation aircraft will help meet the aviation community's future sustainability goals.”

A Mission to Serve Vulnerable Communities

“We are incredibly inspired by the partnership forged with magniX, NASA, and AeroTEC on the EPFD project,” said Chris Reynolds, President at Air Tindi. “We currently fly the Dash 7 with passengers and cargo to remote regions in Canada. Many of these communities are exposed to food insecurity due to high energy prices and a lack of infrastructure. We see this partnership as an opportunity to change this dynamic, and positively impact these regions by reducing CO2 emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.”

“AeroTEC's mission is to accelerate the evolution of aerospace by partnering with innovative companies like magniX as an aircraft integrator to develop and ultimately certify new technologies,” said Lee Human, President & CEO of AeroTEC. “We are honoured to have been selected by magniX and NASA as the integrator on the EPFD project. This is not only a major win for AeroTEC, but a win for Washington State, which is rapidly becoming the nation’s leader in the advancement of sustainable aviation technologies.”