Categories
GeekWire

Aviation vision fueled by hydrogen and electricity

Redmond, Wash.-based MagniX says it’s partnering with a Los Angeles startup called Universal Hydrogen to retrofit 40-passenger regional aircraft with carbon-free, hydrogen-fueled electric powertrains.

The partnership opens up a new frontier for MagniX, which is already involved in flight tests for all-electric versions of smaller airplanes such as the de Havilland Beaver (for Vancouver, B.C.-based Harbour Air) and the Cessna Grand Caravan.

This time, MagniX and Universal Hydrogen aim to transform the de Havilland Canada DHC8-Q300, better known as the Dash 8. The Dash 8 is a time-honored twin turboprop traditionally used for commercial regional air service. If the project succeeds, the lessons learned can be applied for the development of retrofit conversion kits for the wider ATR 42 family of aircraft.

Universal Hydrogen’s plan for the Dash 8 calls for MagniX to provide an electric propulsion system in the 2-megawatt class for each wing, powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Kitty Hawk shifts gears on flying-car plans

California-based Kitty Hawk, the flying-car venture backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, says it’s winding down its Flyer project, which created an ultralight aircraft designed to fly over water.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

All-electric Cessna airplane takes to the air

MagniX airplane and Roei Ganzarski
MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski talks about his company’s all-electric Cessna Grand Caravan airplane, parked in the background at Moses Lake’s airport after its first flight. Ganzarski wears a mask to conform to social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic. (MagniX via Facebook)

An all-electric version of one of the world’s best-known small utility airplanes hummed through its first flight today at Moses Lake in central Washington state.

Redmond, Wash.-based MagniX and Seattle-based AeroTEC were in charge of the test, which focused on the performance of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan powered by MagniX’s 750-horsepower Magni500 propulsion system.

During today’s 30-minute-long test flight, the hum of the modified eCaravan’s motor was drowned out by the relative roar of the chase plane’s engine. “The small Cessna is making about double the noise,” MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski said during his webcast commentary.

AeroTEC test pilot Steve Crane took the plane up as high as 2,500 feet during what he termed a “flawless” test flight.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Boeing resumes 737 MAX jet production

737 MAX assembly
The first 737 MAX 8 plane undergoes final assembly at Boeing’s Renton plant in 2015. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing says it has resumed 737 MAX production at its factory in Renton, Wash., with more than a dozen initiatives implemented to enhance product quality and workplace safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Trump tweets support for Elon Musk and Tesla

Tesla car factory
Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., became the focus of a coronavirus conflict. (Tesla Photo)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s dispute with county authorities over the reopening of the company’s California car factory was injected into President Donald Trump’s Twitterstream today.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Boeing plans cutbacks amid coronavirus losses

Boeing 777
A Boeing 777 jet is assembled at the company’s plant in Everett. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing says it’s planning to reduce its workforce by 10% and cut back on production of wide-body jets in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s dramatic effect on the aviation industry.

“We will be a smaller company for a while,” David Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO and president, told investors today during a conference call.

The moves came as the company reported an adjusted loss of $1.7 billion and a negative cash flow of $4.7 billion for the first quarter of the year. It was the second quarterly loss in a row, but it wasn’t as bad as analysts feared. As a result, Boeing’s shares finished today’s trading session up nearly 6%, at a closing price of $139.

In a letter to employees, Calhoun said that the pandemic has delivered a “body blow to our business.”

“The aviation industry will take years to return to the levels of traffic we saw just a few months ago,” he wrote.

In response, the company has started executing a plan for a 10% reduction in total workforce through a combination of voluntary layoffs, natural turnover and involuntary layoffs as necessary.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Boeing reorganizes for ‘post-pandemic’ era

Greg Smith
Greg Smith is Boeing’s chief financial officer and executive vice president of Enterprise Performance & Strategy. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing has put its chief financial officer in charge of a newly formed group called Enterprise Operations, Finance & Strategy, as part of a reorganization aimed at streamlining the company’s top leadership and preparing for what Boeing calls “the post-pandemic industry footprint.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Boeing gets set to ramp up jet production

Boeing 767s in factory
Boeing 767 jets take shape at the company’s factory in Everett, Wash.  (Boeing Photo)

Boeing says it’s planning to resume all commercial airplane production in the Seattle region starting next week, more than three weeks after operations were shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

About 27,000 employees will be brought back to work sites ranging from Boeing’s wide-body airplane factory in Everett to its 737 production facility in Renton, using a phased approach, the company said in a news release.

Boeing said it’s taking extra precautions to keep its workers safe.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Boeing extends virus-related factory shutdown

COVID-19 supply flight
To help relieve the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Bamboo Airways 787 ferried 287 European citizens and 10 tons of medical assistance from the Vietnamese government to the Czech Republic. (Boeing Airplanes via Twitter)

Boeing says its 14-day suspension of operations at its Puget Sound airplane factories, as well as at its maintenance site at Moses Lake in central Washington state, will be extended until further notice.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Air Force and Boeing strike deal to fix tankers

The Air Force says it reached two agreements with Boeing today, aimed at making the final fixes in camera systems for Boeing-bult KC-46A Pegasus tankers and releasing $882 million in payments that were held back due to problems with the tankers.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.