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ZeroAvia’s Hydrogen-Electric System to Power One Hundred Aircraft in the UK

Instead of building a new type of aircraft from scratch, ZeroAvia is focusing on developing hydrogen-electric powertrains that can be integrated into different existing aircraft. Its market entry, a 600 kW powertrain currently gearing up for flight tests, will power 100 aircraft soon as a result of the collaboration with Monte Aircraft Leasing.
Monte and ZeroAvia will retrofit 100 airframes with the ZA600 powertrain 8 photos
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We’ve said it before – there are several paths that can lead to the same goal of zero-emissions flights. One of them is to install hydrogen-electric powertrains on already existing models, which will not only advance hydrogen-based commercial operations but also extend the lifespan of airframes that are already in service.

The UK- and U.S.-based ZeroAvia wants to get its 600 kW ZA600 powertrain FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)-certified by 2024. The system was developed as part of the HyFlyer II project, partially financed by the British government through the ATI program.

The ZA600 can power 5-20 seat aircraft, ensuring a 300-mile (483 km) range. For the initial flight tests, two Dornier 228 were retrofitted with the ZA600. The first one will undergo tests in the UK, while the second one will take to the sky in California. The two-engine Dornier 228 will fly with a stock engine on one wing and the hydrogen-electric powertrain on the other wing for safety reasons.

But the goal is to certify the ZA600 as the only propulsion source, initially for the categories of airframes outlined by a recent agreement with Monte. The leasing company agreed to purchase up to 100 hydrogen-electric powertrains, which will be installed on Cessna Caravan, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228, and HAL-228 models both new and in-service.

The two partners plan to have the retrofitted aircraft available for customers starting in 2024, also providing maintenance services and making sure that hydrogen supplies are available.

And this wouldn’t be the final step. ZeroAvia’s ultimate goal is to obtain certification for a monster 1.8 MW powertrain called the ZA2000, which would power aircraft with 40 to 80 seats, boasting a 1,000-mile (1,609 km) range.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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