US electric propulsion developer Magnix is rolling out a new line of high-performance batteries known as Samson, promising “industry-leading energy density” to support the fledgling electric aviation industry. 

The Everett, Washington-based company said on 24 June that the first iteration of its Samson battery line – the Samson300 – will deliver 300Wh/kg and a cycle life of 1,000 “full-depth discharges to reduce operating costs”.

The product line represents a ”breakthrough for Magnix and electric aviation”, says Ben Loxton, vice-president of energy storage systems and the NASA Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration programme at Magnix.

“With unrivalled energy density, cycle life and safety features, Magnix’s Samson batteries will help to unlock the tremendous potential of electric flight – enabling many eVTOLs and electric programmes on the edge of viability to become viable.”


Source: Magnix

Magnix says its Samson300 battery is “designed for certification” under civil aviation regulations 

Magnix, which is developing electric propulsion systems for a variety of light aircraft – including electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles – says that pairing Samson batteries with its electric motors “provides customers with a fully optimised and integrated powertrain for aerosapce”.

Increasing the energy density of batteries has been a high priority for the electric aviation sector, with ranges and payloads limited by currently available technology. Magnix’s battery line is intended to maximise energy density for aviation and other high-performance applications. 

It is also designed for fast turnaround times, ”with active on-ground cooling during charging, and the option for passive cooling in flight, minimising weight and complexity in the aircraft”. The company claims the battery’s modular architecture will allow it to support larger aircraft. 

Reed Macdonald, appointed chief executive of Magnix last month, adds that the Samson300 is “just the beginning”. 

“The roadmap to an energy density of 400Wh/kg or more is looking very promising,” he says. 

In April, Canadian seaplane operator Harbour Air signalled intention to purchase 50 electric propulsion systems from Magnix, a move supporting its goal of creating a fleet of all-electric De Havilland Canada aircraft.

Magnix supports development of Eviation’s all-electric Alice commuter aircraft, which is currently powered by twin 700kW Magni650 motors. 

The Magni650 electric propulsion unit has also been applied to Universal Hydrogen’s modified De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 demonstrator.