Founded in Queensland, Australia in 2009, magniX is an electric airplane motor manufacturer. The company will open its new headquarters in Redmond, Washington in addition to an engineering center. Currently, the company has 30 employees at its technology center in Australia and has hired 10 more in Greater Seattle to begin working in early July 2018.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, CEO Roei Ganzarski and magniX’s backers chose to locate its global headquarters in Redmond for the region’s established aerospace cluster and innovation in space, aviation biofuels and electric aviation, citing aerospace players in Greater Seattle like Boeing, IDD Aerospace and BAE Aerospace. According to Ganzarski, magniX is planning to prototype a lightweight, fully electric airplane motor which will be tested on a Cessna Caravan commercial airplane in 2019.
Already established in Greater Seattle, Bothell-based Zunum Aero is developing a small hybrid-electric aircraft and announced in May of this year that private-jet-charter provider JetSuite will be the company’s launch customer, according the Seattle Times. The Boeing-backed aerospace startup plans to debut its hybrid electric commuter plane in 2022.
While electric airplane technology is still in its infancy, Greater Seattle has a rapidly growing aerospace cluster, an industry valued at nearly $70 billion as of 2017, according to the Washington State Department of Commerce. Built on more than a century of innovation in commercial and military aircraft, unmanned aerial systems (UAE), and space exploration vehicles, the aerospace industry in Washington state provides more than 130,000 jobs at 1,400 companies in the state (2017). Additionally, more than half of the state’s foreign exports come from aerospace companies.
The industry is also supported by a network of public-private partnerships like the Center for Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing, Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center and the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation. An emphasis on training and education ensures a deep pool of talent in virtually every aspect of aerospace from avionics and robotics to logistics and advanced materials.
The most advanced aerospace supply chain the world, Washington state may be the next hub for electric aviation.