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Hydrogen-Electric Aircraft Gears up for Inaugural Flight, Powered by Swedish Fuel Cells

ZeroAvia is just days away from the first test flight of its ZA600 powertrain, a 600 kW hydrogen-electric solution for clean regional aviation. The Swedish fuel cell stack manufacturer PowerCell Sweden AB is an important partner for this inaugural flight.
ZeroAvia will soon conduct the first flight for its ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain 7 photos
ZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrainZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrainZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrainZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrainZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrainZeroAvia will fly a retrofitted Dornier 228 to test its 600 kW hydrogen-electric powertrain
ZeroAvia has retrofitted two Dornier 228 aircraft with the ZA600 powertrain. For safety reasons, the two-engine aircraft will conduct test flights with the stock engine on one wing and the hydrogen-electric powertrain on the other wing. The first Dornier will carry out the tests in the UK, while the second one will be tested in California.

The ZA600 is powerful enough to ensure a range of up to 300 miles (483 km) for regional airliners with as many as 20 seats and was developed as part of the HyFlyer II project, financially supported by the British government through the ATI program.

The hydrogen-electric aircraft that’s gearing up to conduct its first flight equipped with the ZA600 also includes the fuel cell stacks developed by PowerCell Sweden AB. The Swedish manufacturer was already what ZeroAvia calls “a key supplier” of low-temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks, known as LTPEM fuel cells.

A recent agreement reinforced this collaboration, which will result in a minimum of 5,000 PEM fuel cell stacks that are optimized for aviation. Deliveries will start in 2024 and continue until 2028. This goes hand in hand with ZeroAvia’s intention of having the ZA600 certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and ready to kick off green flights in 2024. This could mean that zero-emissions hydrogen-powered commercial flights are just a couple of years away.

Richard Berkling, CEO of PowerCell Sweden AB, believes that clean aviation will become one of the largest markets for fuel cell technology.

ZeroAvia seems to agree since its ultimate goal is to bring hydrogen-powered 80-seat airliners with a 1,000-mile (1,609 km) range.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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