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Today’s Pickup: Canadian airline successfully tests e-plane in historic flight

Harbour Air’s aging DHC-2 Beaver seaplane powered by a 750-horsepower fully electric propulsion system makes history flying for nearly 10 miles near Vancouver.

Harbour Air plans to convert its seaplane fleet to electric. Photo: Harbour Air

Good day,

An aircraft billed as the world’s first commercial e-plane and powered by a propulsion system that uses lithium-ion batteries successfully completed a nearly 10-mile test flight in Canada.

British Columbia-based seaplane airline Harbour Air completed the test on the Fraser River in Vancouver using a retrofitted DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver on Dec. 10. The prop plane, more than 60 years old, flew with a 750-horsepower magni500 propulsion system designed by Seattle-based magniX.

Harbour Air says the electric system can allow for flights of around 100 miles. The airline plans to convert its entire fleet after regulatory approval. 

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– Jesus Alvarez, head of carrier sales at Fr8Hub, on the closure of bankrupt Celadon’s Mexican subsidiary, Jaguar Transportation

In other news:

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The Indiana Motor Truck Association is working with member carriers to help place former employees of Celadon who lost their jobs in the company’s closure. (The Indy Channel) 

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A trucker is working to ensure that the kids of former Celadon drivers still get Christmas presents. (CDL Life)

Forensic tests clear Thai trucker of taking meth 

A truck driver in Thailand accused of using methamphetamine on the job has been cleared by forensic tests. (Bangkok Post)  

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The chief information and engineering officer of UPS, Juan Perez, has earned the Forbes CIO Innovation Award for developing its Global Smart Logistics Network. (Forbes)

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German software firm SAP announced a partnership with project44 to improve supply chain visibility. (DC Velocity

Final thoughts:

While primarily a passenger airline, Harbour Air also offers express parcel service on its small seaplanes. Harbour Air hasn’t discussed how electric conversions might affect those operations. But if parcel service can continue, the e-planes could potentially bring down the costs. 

Hammer down, everyone!

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]