FAA Issues MagniX Certification Requirements
On Sept. 27, in a breakthrough for electric-powered aviation, the FAA issued special conditions for airworthiness standards for electric engines produced by MagniX, an Everett, Washington-based manufacturer of electric motors. The issuance, which the FAA made under its Part 33 (“Airworthiness Standards: Aircraft Engines”) rules, covers the Magni350 and Magni650 model “electric engines” produced by MagniX. It is the first FAA ruling on propulsion systems that rely on electricity instead of fossil fuels, helping to open the way for the FAA to approve electric aircraft. In an interview with the Pudget Sound Business Journal, MagniX CEO Roei Ganzarski called the FAA decision a “tremendous watershed moment.” MagniX applied for a type certificate of the two electric engines; the FAA published a draft of the special conditions in the Federal Register in November 2020. The special conditions will allow MagniX to begin formal tests of the motors using simulators and aircraft to evaluate the effect of real-world events such as lightning. “The next steps are to take our propulsion systems through the rigorous testing required to meet the FAA special conditions and to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are as safe and reliable, if not more so, than other certified equivalent aircraft propulsion systems,” Ganzarski said in an interview with FutureFlight.