All-electric Grand Caravan makes maiden flight

An electric-powered Cessna 208B Grand Caravan lifted off a Moses Lake runway on 28 May, marking another milestone in a project that aims to bring all-electric flight to consumer air travel.

In taking flight, the Caravan became, according to the companies behind the project, the largest all-electric passenger or cargo aircraft ever to fly.

Economically-feasible all-electric commercial flight has remained elusive for years, hamstrung largely by the relatively low energy density of batteries, which has constrained aircraft range and payload.

But propulsion company Magnix and AeroTEC, an engineering and flight test specialist, say their modified Grand Caravan proves that small all-electric aircraft can feasibly and economically operate short routes that airlines long ago abandoned.