One week to go before historic Electric Sea Plane takes flight!

Update! Flight happening Tuesday 8AM.

Due to weather forecast on Wednesday they have moved up the test flight day to Tuesday morning!

Livestream will be here

Stream will start at 8AM and they are hoping for takeoff around 8:30AM.

We are pretty lucky here in B.C. to have a lot of very innovative and frankly brave companies.

One of those companies is Harbour Air. They were one of the first transportation companies in Canada to take the steps needed to offset their CO2 emissions and become carbon neutral.

Next week they’re doing something much much bigger. They’re going to fly an electric sea plane. Here is their promotional video showing the plane and all the work they have done so far.

It really can’t be stated how important this milestone is for commercial aviation.

This will be the first test of whether the motor and battery technology has advanced enough for it to begin replacing fossil fuelled aviation.

You won’t be taking a Harbour Air seaplane between Vancouver and Toronto, but these class of planes and travel are common all over the world and are a first step to those larger flights.

Here are Canadian emissions in the transportation sector.

Passenger aviation is dwarfed by personal vehicles and freight trucking, however, aviation is one of the most difficult sectors to electrify.

We can easily string catenary wire to electrify a railway or a bus and move people away from their cars by bike or walking. We can now electrify personal vehicles as well though it remains to be seen if it is feasible to electrify every car and truck on the road. But flying is very energy intensive. Without modern and sophisticated batteries to provide the needed power, electric flight simply isn’t feasible.

It may not make sense to electrify every airplane. We might instead look to alternatives, like electrified high speed rail that could do the same job with far less complexity.

There will, however, always be a need for flight of some kind. We should be very glad for companies like Harbour Air and MagniX pioneering this work to move us forward.

Let’s Recycle Everything at the Curb – Complexity is OK.

Complexity is ok if it makes sense.

Have you ever felt like everyone is treating you like an idiot?

Not in a mean way, but more like “Well, let’s make this as simple as possible so lots of people do it!

There is plenty of merit to the old “Keep It Simple Stupid” principle, but I think there are times when complexity can actually make things easier because it mimics the complexities of life that we deal with every day. If there is a good reason, and a good reward for a little added complexity, then it’s probably worth it.

Continue reading “Let’s Recycle Everything at the Curb – Complexity is OK.”

A Year In – Questions to some Port Alberni Councillors

A few weeks ago I sent an email out to the Mayor and six councillors. It’s good to check in sometimes and see what sticks out for people after a year with a new job for some, and new partners for others.

I received responses from Councillors Haggard and Paulson so I’ve included them below.

Here is what I sent them:

Continue reading “A Year In – Questions to some Port Alberni Councillors”