Indian Aerospace Company To Produce Aircraft Powered by Hybrid-Electric Systems

ZeroAvia, the company that wants to revolutionize regional flights with an innovative hydrogen-electric powertrain, launched a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics, to retrofit Dornier and Hindustan-228 aircraft.
ZeroAvia is developing hydrogen-electric powertrains, with the ultimate goal of launching zero-emissions regional flights 6 photos
Photo: ZeroAvia
ZeroAvia AircraftZeroAvia AircraftZeroAvia AircraftZeroAvia AircraftZeroAvia Aircraft
The UK-based aviation company has developed a hydrogen-electric powertrain called ZA600, with an output of 600 kW, without emissions. The next step was to begin collaborating with various industry partners, to integrate this zero-emissions propulsion technology into existing aircraft.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), an aerospace and defense company owned by the Indian state, has agreed to retrofit existing airframes, as well as to build new aircraft, with the Hindustan-228 designation.

The new aircraft will be built with additional approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, to incorporate the ZA600 engine. Back in 1983, HAL and Dornier signed a technology transfer agreement, based on which the Indian operator built over 150 aircraft. Under this recent agreement with ZeroAvia, the ZA600 will be integrated into the Dornier 228 airframe.

The Dornier 228 is currently being used by ZeroAvia as a testbed for its hydrogen-electric powertrain. The goal is to develop a regional 19-seat aircraft powered by the 600kW hybrid powertrain that will enable a 500-nautical mile range. This is called the HyFlyer II project and has successfully completed a ground-test of the powertrain, earlier this year. Flight tests conducted by the Dornier 228, are expected to begin in the following months.

If things go according to plan, the Dornier 228 powered by the ZA600 will enter commercial service in 2024. At the same time, the British company is also working on establishing the supporting infrastructure. A recent partnership with Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA) is gearing up to introduce “the world’s first hydrogen-electric international passenger route.” Regional aircraft powered by hybrid systems, such as the HAL 228, will soon be flying on the London-Rotterdam route.

Alaska Airlines is another partner that has committed to converting its entire regional aircraft fleet, by integrating ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric propulsion system.
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Editor's note: The gallery shows various ZeroAvia aircraft prototypes.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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