NASA awards MagniX $74.3M to demonstrate electric aviation tech

A Cessna Grand Caravan equipped with a MagniX propulsion system flies over Moses Lake, Washington for a flight test. (MagniX via YouTube)

MagniX, based in Everett, Washington, will receive $ 74.3 million from NASA over the next five years to demonstrate electric propulsion technologies for aircraft.

The fixed price / cost-sharing price is awarded through NASA’s Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration Program (EPFD), which aims to introduce electric propulsion technologies to U.S. aviation fleets by 2035 at the latest.

Another company, GE Aviation of Cincinnati, is receiving $ 179 million under the same program.

“This award from NASA is a testament to the fantastic work that the MagniX team does every day,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX, in an email to GeekWire. “This program will enable the next generation of airliners. We are proud to be in the same cohort with a great company like GE. “

Robert Pearce, NASA assistant administrator for aerospace research, said the assistance should accelerate the transition to electric aviation and be a “catalyst for economic growth.”

“We expect that by integrating these novel alternative propulsion and energy technologies into the fleet, we will achieve significant improvements in the economic and environmental performance of subsonic transport,” Pearce said in a press release today.

During the five-year term of the award, MagniX and GE Aviation will demonstrate electric aircraft propulsion technologies, also known as EAP, that could be used in commercial aircraft, including short-haul and regional passenger aircraft. You will also work on other NASA projects dealing with electric propulsion, flight test instruments, and data analysis.

“GE Aviation and MagniX will conduct integrated ground and flight demonstrations of megawatt-class powertrain systems to validate their concepts and project utility for future EAP aircraft configurations,” said Gaudy Bezos-O’Connor, EPFD project manager at Langley Research Center NASA in Virginia. “These demonstrations will identify and remove technical barriers and integration risks. It will also help support the development of standards and regulations for future EAP systems. “

MagniX is already working on demonstrations of electric aircraft propulsion using its Magni350 and Magni650 electric motors. The company is working with Harbor Air of Vancouver, BC to certify a fleet of retrofitted electric seaplanes for short-haul passenger flights and has also entered into agreements with Universal Hydrogen, Sydney Seaplanes, Faradair, H55 and Blade.

In January, the company moved its headquarters from Redmond, Washington, to a new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Everett.

MagniX is majority owned by Singapore-based Clermont Group. A sister company called Eviation has its own manufacturing facility in Arlington, Washington, and MagniX is committed to building powertrains for Eviation’s all-electric Alice aircraft. Last month DHL Express announced that it had ordered 12 Alice eCargo aircraft from Eviation.

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