Air Tindi (8T, Yellowknife) has partnered with MagniX, NASA (United States of America), and AeroTec to trial electric propulsion on one of its DHC-7-100s starting in 2025.

The Canadian regional specialist will provide the aircraft, AeroTec will be responsible for designing and integrating electric engines into the turboprop, while MagniX will provide the magni650 electric power unit. The partnership is a part of the USD74.3 million NASA contract awarded in 2021 to MagniX to demonstrate the viability of electric propulsion for commercial air transport. The US government hopes to see the first electric aircraft flying commercially by 2035.

The Dash 7 will be outfitted with two original Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines and two magniX magni650 electric units.

"We currently fly the Dash 7 with passengers and cargo to remote regions in Canada. Many of these communities are exposed to food insecurity due to high energy prices and a lack of infrastructure. We see this partnership as an opportunity to change this dynamic, and positively impact these regions by reducing CO2 emissions and dependence on fossil fuels," Air Tindi President Chris Reynolds said.

He told the local Cabin Radio that the four-engined Dash 7 was a perfect platform for tests as two engines of each type could be installed.

The Canadian carrier operates a mix of scheduled and charter passenger and cargo operations in Northern Canada, mainly out of Yellowknife. It has four active Dash 7-100s in its fleet. These turboprops are the carrier's largest aircraft as it also includes five DHC-6-300s, one Beech (twin turboprop) King Air 200, three Cessna (single turboprop) C208s Caravans, and one DHC-3.

Everett-based MagniX is also supplying electric engines for testing to Harbour Air Seaplanes and start-up Eviation.