MagniX & Harbour Air Want to Convert Seaplanes Into “ePlanes”

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design new, all-electric aircraft that would use the startup’s propulsion systems, he says. That work follows a different regulatory path than the one MagniX is navigating to replace propulsion systems in existing planes.

Ganzarski emphasizes that electric motors have been around for a long time, and it’s not as if his startup claims to have invented the technology. However, he says MagniX has made advancements in three areas that have helped position the company to potentially make its mark on the emerging sector of electric plane motors. These areas are materials (what magnets, coils, and other parts of the motor are made of); design (the placement of magnets, for example); and MagniX’s internal, integrated liquid cooling system.

Using air cooling to regulate the temperature of a 750-horsepower plane motor presents major engineering hurdles, Ganzarski says. Once MagniX realized liquid cooling was a more sensible option, the challenge was developing an effective system that wouldn’t weigh down a plane, he says.

“What we’ve been able to develop is a proprietary system that provides integrated liquid cooling into the motor and the inverter without adding any bad weight,” Ganzarski says.

MagniX works with three different battery companies, and for now the startup is using “traditional lithium-ion batteries” to power its motors and other equipment.

Siemens is one business that has a head start on MagniX in working to bring electric motor technology to commercial air travel. The company’s motors have already been used in tests of a plane Denver-based Bye Aerospace is developing. Separately, Siemens is also working with Airbus and other partners on a hybrid-electric passenger plane known as E-Fan X.

Ganzarski says he’s “happy to have someone of the caliber of Siemens be in this competitive market.” MagniX and Siemens are the only two organizations he knows of that have successfully built a 350-horsepower motor (MagniX’s lower-power offering) that’s liquid-cooled and geared towards aerospace.

“It really proves the point that electric aviation, for the size of aircraft and commercial use that we’re talking about, is in fact a real thing,” Ganzarski says. “Otherwise, the likes of Siemens wouldn’t be in this.”

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