Electric motor manufacturer Magnix has disclosed an interest in offering hydrogen fuel cells, in addition to battery or hybrid-electric solutions, as it broadens its range of complete powertrain options.

Speaking at the NBAA business aviation show on 19 October, Simon Roads, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at the Washington state firm, said the addition of hydrogen fuel cells was key to broadening its product range.

Magni500-powered Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

Source: Magnix

Magnix EPU previously powered converted Cessna Caravan

“We want to be able to provide a full range of solutions to our customer base, regardless of whether their requirements are full-electric, hybrid or fuel cells,” he says.

Roads says the company has already commenced a due-diligence process with fuel-cell providers, as there is “a level of urgency to progress this”.

“We have multiple requests from customers looking for a fuel-cell-based system.”

Magnix is already seeking a battery supplier and is “very close” to down-selecting its preferred vendor, Roads adds.

Meanwhile, it continues to build towards Federal Aviation Administration approval of its 640kW-rated Magni650 electric propulsion unit (EPU). “We are getting close to finalising our certification plans,” he says, working towards an end-2024 target.

The validation process will include flight tests aboard an undisclosed aircraft type, he says, building on the 600h of ground runs accumulated so far this year.

Magnix motors have already flown on several platforms, notably the Eviation Alice, and converted Cessna Caravan and Beaver aircraft. In total it has produced 16 EPUs, including test articles.