by Tiana May
04 May 2023
Alaska Airlines has presented a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 regional turboprop aircraft to ZeroAvia to be retrofitted with its hydrogen-electric propulsion technology.
ZeroAvia will equip the 76-seat Q400 aircraft with its HyperCore electric motor technology as part of the company’s ongoing business plan to deliver zero-direct-emission flight.
This retrofit will utilise ZeroAvia’s multi-megawatt modular electric motor system: HyperCore, along with higher temperature PEM fuel cells and advanced power electronics. ZeroAvia considers these to be the three key building blocks for enabling commercially-relevant hydrogen fuel cell engines for larger aircraft.
As ZeroAvia continues to advance its in-house developments of these technologies, it expects to clear the way for a potential flight of the Q400.
“Demonstrating this size of aircraft in flight, powered entirely by novel propulsion, would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Launching this program puts us on track for a test flight next year, and accelerates our progress toward the future of zero-emission flight for Alaska Airlines and for the world at large.”
Retrofitting the Dash 8-400 airframe with ZeroAvia’s powertrain will enable ZeroAvia to present a commercially viable hydrogen-electric aircraft with fuel cell engine technology that will be around five times more powerful than anything that has been demonstrated to date.
To facilitate this accomplishment, ZeroAvia has established an engineering partnership with De Havilland of Canada, the original manufacturer of the Dash 8 family of aircraft. This partnership will enable the exchange of data and expertise with the airframe.
“This is a great step forward in aviation innovation, to help create a new future of flight – right here at home. Alaska Airlines has defined a five-part journey to achieve net zero carbon emissions long-term, but we can’t get there alone. New technologies are required to make that future possible, and we’re thrilled to partner with industry leader ZeroAvia to make new zero-emissions options a reality.”
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