ZeroAvia has successfully tested its 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft, powered partly with a full-size hydrogen-electric engine.
The aircraft took off and landed from ZeroAvia’s testbed at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire, UK and completed a test flight lasting 10 minutes. This test included the taxi, take-off, a full pattern circuit and landing.
This test marks a step forward for zero-direct-emission flight and ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer II programme.
“This is a major moment, not just for ZeroAvia, but for the aviation industry as a whole, as it shows that true zero-emission commercial flight is only a few years away. The first flight of our 19-seat aircraft shows just how scalable our technology is and highlights the rapid progress of zero-emission propulsion. This is only the beginning - we are building the future of sustainable, zero climate impact aviation.”
The twin-engine aircraft was retrofitted with ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine on its left wing, which operated alongside a single Honeywell TPE-331 stock engine on the right.
In this configuration, the hydrogen-electric powertrain has two fuel cell stacks with lithium-ion battery packs. For testing, the hydrogen tanks and fuel cell power-generation systems were housed inside the cabin, but in a commercial configuration, external storage would be used to make room for passenger seats.
Throughout the test flight, all systems performed as expected.
ZeroAvia will now work towards its certifiable configuration in order to deliver commercial routes using the technology by 2025.
“Today's flight is a hugely exciting vision of the future – guilt-free flying and a big step forward for zero-emission air travel. It also demonstrates how government funding for projects like these is translating into net zero growth.
“The UK is a world leader in green aviation technology, and the global shift to cleaner forms of flight represents a huge opportunity to secure growth and jobs for our country. That's why we are backing businesses who share our ambitions, reaping the benefits of green technology and growing the thousands of new, skilled jobs that come with it.”
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