Reed Macdonald, magniX CEO. (Photo provided by magniX)

Reed Macdonald, magniX CEO. (Photo provided by magniX)

Everett-based magniX appoints longtime aerospace exec as new CEO

Reed Macdonald will take the helm at a pivotal time for the company that builds electric motors for airplanes.

EVERETT — An aerospace executive with more than 25 years of experience will take the helm at magniX, an Everett-based company that designs and builds electric motors for aircraft.

Reed Macdonald joins magniX this month as its chief executive officer.

He replaces Nuno Taborda, a former Rolls Royce executive, who served as the firm’s chief executive for less than a year.

Macdonald was previously CEO of FDS Avionics, which manufactures electronics equipment for aviation and military markets, including in-flight entertainment systems for business jets.

“It is an exciting time for magniX as its groundbreaking technology takes giant leaps toward making zero emissions flight a commercial reality,” Macdonald said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the magniX team to bring our industry-leading electric powertrains to the marketplace and to accelerate the transition to sustainable aviation.”

The company recently received a pre-order for 50 of its magni650 electric engines from Harbour Air, one of the largest commercial seaplane carriers in North America.

“magniX is entering a significant new phase in our game-changing technology’s progress toward entry into service,” said John Saabas, the magniX chairman. “Reed’s commercial experience and expertise are well-suited to steward magniX through this chapter in our journey to change the history of aviation.”

In 2019, Harbour Air and magniX made history when they retrofitted a Harbour Air De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver with a magniX electric engine, becoming the world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft to take flight, the companies said.

The powertrain developer has powered “groundbreaking flights by five different aircraft,” including a hydrogen-electric De Havilland Dash 8 retrofitted and operated by Universal Hydrogen.

Locally, magniX may be best known for its partnership with Eviation Aircraft, a company with offices and engineering facilities near Arlington Municipal Airport. The two firms are subsidiaries of the Clermont Group, a private investment firm based in Singapore. Both Eviation and magniX relocated to Snohomish County in 2020.

Together, they designed and built a fully electric, nine-seat airplane that completed its first test flight in September 2022. Known as Alice, the plane is specially designed around the magniX electric propulsion system.

Alice produces no carbon emissions and costs significantly less to operate per flight hour than light jets or high-end turboprops, Eviation has said.

Electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft are expected to play a vital role in supporting commercial air travel, particularly shorter, commuter flights of under 500 miles.

Aviation is responsible for 9% of transportation emissions in the United States and 3% of the nation’s greenhouse gas production, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. All-electric and hybrid aircraft could help reduce the environmental impact.

In 2021, magniX received a $74 million grant from NASA to advance electric aircraft propulsion technologies for commercial airline use.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: @JanicePods

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

A house fire seriously injured two people Friday evening, June 14, in Edmonds, Washington. (Courtesy of South County Fire.)
1 killed, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Edmonds house fire

South County Fire crews pulled the man and woman from the burning home around 6 p.m. Friday, near 224th Street SW and 72nd Place W.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Hidden costs, delays crush hopeful food truck owners in Snohomish County

Melinda Grenier followed her dream to open Hay Girl Coffee. Thousands in fees later, it has cost her more than she bargained for.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Lynnwood
New Jersey auto group purchases Lynnwood Lexus dealership land

Holman, which owns Lexus of Seattle in Lynnwood, bought property on which the dealership resides.

Marvin Arellano (Photo provided)
Family: ‘Manic episode’ preceded trooper shooting man on I-5 near Everett

“It’s very, very unfortunate how he was portrayed in his final moments,” Gilbert Arellano said. “He was just such a good person.”

Two visitors comb the beach at Kayak Point Regional County Park on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kayak Point reopens ahead of schedule

The county’s most popular park reopened Friday.

Grauates throw their caps in the air at the end of Arlington High School graduation at Angel of the Winds Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘So worth it’: Snohomish County graduates step into their futures

Alyssa Acosta, who is Harvard-bound, was one of thousands to walk the stage at Angel of the Winds Arena this month to get high school diplomas.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.