For the Record – Turning Seaplanes into E-planes

Nick Empey – November 1, 2019

Harbour Air is refitting existing planes with new battery powered engines.

(Source: Harbour Air Seaplanes)

Climate change has been a hot topic lately and a local seaplane company is leading the way in converting flights to electric power. Harbour Air Seaplanes is almost prepared to begin testing their converted plane. This comes following their announcement of turning all their planes electric in 2018. Greg McDougall, CEO and founder of Harbour Air Seaplanes says that the technology is closely related with an electric car.

“It’s very similar, the technology is basically the same. You have battery packs, control units and control systems. The technology in it is almost identical. That’s the good part, because its proven and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” – Greg McDougall, CEO and founder of Harbour Air Seaplanes

McDougall attributes Harbour Air Seaplanes ability to make this change to the relaxed climate in BC, as the temperature does not hinder electric batteries as bad as it would in the rest of Canada. He says the technology is constantly progressing and large engine manufacturers are at least looking at making hybrid engines now as electric international flights may still be years away.

Listen to the full interview here: