Magnix, a company manufacturing electric propulsion solutions, recently announced the successful testing of its 350 horsepower (HP) all-electric motor with an aircraft propeller mounted on a Cessna ‘Iron Bird’. This milestone takes the company’s commercial grade all-electric motors out of test cells and onto a commercial aircraft platform, advancing the future of commercial aircraft propulsion.
Today, fuel accounts for 30 to 50% of an airline’s operating costs. And according to Airlines for America, price increase of one cent to the gallon creates an additional expenditure of $200 million for US airlines annually. Moreover, emissions created by aviation represent nearly 5% of global human-created CO2. Electric aviation will significantly reduce operating costs for airlines by replacing fuel with electricity, which is much lower cost, and will also eliminate airlines’ carbon emissions.
magniX projects commercial flights up to 1,000 miles will be conducted via electric aircraft by 2024 and up to 500 miles as early as 2022. In addition to significant cost savings at the operational level, electric will enable the creation of new “middle mile” services and business models for both consumer travel and package deliveries in the 100- to 1,000-mile range.
In the next 12 months, magniX is focused on advancing its propulsion solutions, including the release of its 750HP propulsion system debuting on a Cessna 208 Caravan by Fall 2019.
Aviation in the News
Aviation emissions has become a topic of concern as of late. In July, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency, has made headway on establishing international standards for its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, known as CORSIA for short. This plan aims to keep the carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation at the same level from 2020 onward.
These standards measure how much airlines will need to reduce the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions from planes.
Renewable jet fuel has also been tested in commercial airplanes as a solution for emissions and a reliance on petroleum jet fuel. In January, Qantas Airlines flew from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on a renewable jet fuel engineered from mustard seeds, according to Honeywell UOP. This 8,077-mile flight was the first between the two countries to use Honeywell Green Jet Fuel.
The fuel is produced by taking carinata seeds — a type of non-edible industrial mustard — engineered by the company Agrisoma Biosciences. Then the seeds get pressed to yield half their weight in oils that Paramount, California-based AltAir refined into jet fuel using Honeywell’s process. The renewable jet fuel can then replace up to half the petroleum jet fuel for a flight.