Our Journey to Leading
the Electric Age of Aviation

All revolutions in aviation have been driven by advances in propulsion. After the piston engine and the jet engine, electric powertrains are ready to usher in the next great era of flight.


The founding of magniX in 2005 was inspired by a heritage of aerospace innovation that stretches back to the dawn of the jet age in the 1940s. In the two decades since, we have led the way into the electric age of aviation.

magniX Battery

Timeline

1942

magniX's heritage goes back to the pioneering work of Group Captain George Watt, a New Zealand-born Rhodes Scholar, engineer and test pilot.


During WWII, Watt served as an experimental test pilot at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, U.K. To gain a better understanding of how pilots coped with G-force, he took part in experimental flights to understand its effects on the human body.


In the space of a single year, he lost consciousness more than 100 times during these test flights. For this, he was awarded the Air Force Cross by the British government, bestowed for “acts of exemplary gallantry while flying”.

Later in the war, Watt was appointed Deputy Director of Special Projects for the U.K.’s Air Ministry. There, he led the British program that developed the jet engine in collaboration with Frank Whittle. 


Watt was then asked by the British government to share this jet engine technology with the United States. It became the basis of GE’s first jet engine, pictured here with Richard Chandler, the nephew of George Watt and the Chairman of magniX’s parent company the Clermont Group.


In recognition of this work, Watt was given The Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) by the U.S. government “for a very high contribution to the common war effort”. He later went on to serve as Chief Engineering Officer to the Royal New Zealand Air Force. After retiring from the military, he became a director of Rolls-Royce, leading the company's engineering group based in Derby, U.K.

2005

2005

magniX was founded by the Croatia-born inventor and entrepreneur Tony Guina in 2005. In 1967, during his teenage years, Guina visited the Rolls-Royce research facility in Derby run by George Watt. The pair had a family connection and both are uncles of Clermont Chairman Richard Chandler.


Inspired by the visit to Derby, Guina fell in love with engineering and propulsion. He went on to become a motor mechanic and in his spare time began to indulge his passion for innovation, working on designs and models late into the night.


When Guina established Guina Energy, the company that would go on to become magniX in Gold Coast, Australia, it was dedicated to pursuing his groundbreaking theories surrounding electric propulsion.

2017

2017

After a decade of research and product development, 2017 marked an inflection point.


The company completed the first successful test of its prototype superconducting electric propulsion unit (EPU), named the magni5. It also began taking intentional steps to match its industry-leading technical knowledge with a more rigorous commercial approach. To mark this renewed focus, the company rebranded as magniX.


These developments followed the full acquisition of the company by the Clermont Group in 2016.

2018

magniX relocated its headquarters from Australia’s Gold Coast to Seattle, the global hub of aerospace.

2018

2019

In December 2019, a commercially-focused passenger aircraft powered entirely by electricity took to the skies for the first time in Vancouver, Canada. The eBeaver, a De Havilland Beaver seaplane retrofitted with a magniX EPU, proved the impossible possible.

2020

In May 2020, magniX set records again as the world’s largest commercially-focused electric aircraft – an electrified Cessna Grand Caravan (eCaravan) – made its first test flight.

2021

2021

NASA awarded magniX a US$ 74.3m contract as part of its Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) program. Over the course of the program, magniX will lead the creation of a hybrid electric de Havilland Dash 7 in partnership with the agency.


magniX also became the first company to receive FAA CFR33 special conditions for electric engine airworthiness.


This established a clear path to the certification of an electric engine for the first time.

2022

magniX powered its first helicopter, an electrified Robinson R44, at Seal Beach, California. A few months later, the eR44 completed the first ever point-to-point flight by an electric helicopter.


The eR44 project is sponsored by Lung Biotechnology, with the aim of providing a reliable, environmentally friendly and fast means of transporting transplant organs.

On 27 September 2022, the Eviation Alice completed its first flight at Moses Lake, Washington. The Alice is the world’s first flight-tested all-electric commuter aircraft and is powered by two magni650 EPUs.

2023

A hydrogen electric De Havilland Dash 8, powered by a magni650 EPU, became the largest ever hydrogen fuel cell aircraft following its first flight. The airplane, developed by Universal Hydrogen, went on to break the record for the longest and highest electric flight during subsequent testing.

2023

2024

2024

magniX passed major milestones in the NASA EPFD program.


In February, magniX completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) stage of the project.


In April, a magni650 EPU completed the first phase of testing at the NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) facility at the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Sandusky, Ohio. The NEAT has a unique capability to simulate the effects of altitude, generating valuable data to accelerate the Entry into Service of electric propulsion.


Pictured here are the teams from magniX and NASA, celebrating the completion of the PDR at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

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