Largest Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft Will Be a 19-Seater Offering a 500-Mile Range

ZeroAvia 19-seat hydrogen-powered aircraft 6 photos
Photo: ZeroAvia
6-seat HyFlyer-1 prototype flight tests in the UK6-seat HyFlyer-1 prototype flight tests in the UK6-seat HyFlyer-1 prototype flight tests in the UK6-seat HyFlyer-1 prototype flight tests in the UK6-seat HyFlyer-1 prototype flight tests in the UK
Hydrogen-electric aviation is ZeroAvia’s field of expertise and now the company announces the development of the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft to date, a 19-seater offering a 500-mile (805 km) range.
Well, in fact, it isn’t just one 19-seat aircraft but two, as part of ZeroAvia’s second hydrogen-electric aviation program called HyFlyer II, meant to develop a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. The first phase of the program involved a 250kW powertrain in a modified Piper M-class 6-seat aircraft, called HyFlier I. The program didn’t end well, with the plane making the headlines at the end of April.

The 6-seat aircraft made an unscheduled off-airport landing in the U.K. and got damaged during a test. Nobody was hurt but ZeroAvia announced that the incident will disrupt the aircraft demonstration program that was going to come to an end anyway in the following weeks. However, the company stated that it doesn’t expect a negative impact after the incident and it intends to move on with its new HyFlyer 2 program targeting 10-20 seat aircraft.

So now ZeroAvia ramps it up to a pair of 19-seaters by securing two Dornier 228 aircraft that will be equipped with twin 600 kW hydrogen powertrains, carrying 220 lbs (100 kg) of compressed H2 on board. The range of the 19-seaters will be 500 miles (805 km). The planes will be used in the U.K. and the U.S., where they were previously in service for regional flights. ZeroAvia sees this is a great opportunity for carbon reduction on existing routes.

ZeroAvia aims for a commercial offering for the 19-seater version by 2024. And their plan to decarbonize regional air travel doesn’t stop here. The company also managed to secure an additional $13 million for a 50+ seat engine development program. ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov claims that hydrogen is the only practical solution for true climate-neutral flight and it will become a commercial reality sooner than predicted.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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