Bulletin of Industry
In a £ 12.3 million UK government-funded initiative to build a revolutionary 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft ready for the market by 2023, ORKNEY-based energy experts will play a key role.
ZeroAvia will collaborate with the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and Warwick-based Aeristech to build a certifiable hydrogen-electric powertrain capable of powering aircraft carrying up to 19 passengers in the context of the HyFlyer II project.
Another world-first hydrogen-electric flight by ZeroAvia in a 19-seat aircraft, with a 350-mile flight planned in early 2023, would “conclude” the HyFlyer II project.
Support from the government for the 19-seat program of ZeroAvia comes at a time when the company is also reporting £ 16 million in venture funding.
The funding pledge follows the world’s first commercial hydrogen-electric aircraft flight to Cranfield by ZeroAvia in September, which used a smaller version of ZeroAvia’s 6-seat Piper Malibu M350 hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
‘First commercial electric flight’ from the UK hailed as successful
For the first HyFlyer project, this earlier flight was a landmark, which was also funded by a government program grant.
By bringing the first hydrogen-electric powertrain suitable for aircraft with up to 19 seats to market by 2023, HyFlyer II will build on this performance.
Aircraft with up to 19 seats, such as the Cessna 208 Caravan and the Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter, are usually used worldwide in regional aviation and freight operations. The 600-kW hydrogen-electric powertrain of ZeroAvia is an agnostic platform and will eventually make zero-carbon flight a possibility for passengers over large distances.
The announcement of the HyFlyer II program and Series A investment comes just days after British Airways announced a collaboration with ZeroAvia to accelerate its transition under the Hangar 51 Software Accelerator program of IAG to hydrogen-powered aircraft.
Aerospace industry leaders and major airlines, such as the European Regions Airlines Association and Airbus, have accepted hydrogen fuel cell technology as the most feasible way to minimize carbon emissions quickly in aviation.
We are very pleased with the decision of ATI to help our 19-seat powertrain development program, ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov said. This project is vital to providing a market-ready hydrogen-powered solution for 2023 that will make carbon-free aviation a reality for passengers. This demonstrates once again the ‘Jet Zero’ commitment of the UK government to lead the way in making aviation sustainable,
ZeroAvia is once again collaborating with EMEC for the HyFlyer II project to provide the green hydrogen refueling systems required to power the aircraft for flight testing, including through mobile refueling platforms suitable for the airport climate.
We are pleased to support the HyFlyer II project, said Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC. This is a significant achievement for UK aerospace that will exploit the world-leading hydrogen activities of EMEC.
‘EMEC will not only have green hydrogen for the demonstration of carbon-free aviation, but will also establish a solution for hydrogen refueling capable of providing volumes similar to the speed of commercial aviation. This is going to be a big move forward for the industry.’
For the first time, ZeroAvia will also partner with Aeristech, a leading developer of energy-dense and reliable solutions for air compressors. Adding Aeristech to the list of HyFlyer II collaborating partners will allow ZeroAvia to use the company’s advanced air compressor system as part of the new 19-seat powertrain.
“We are pleased to partner with ZeroAvia and contribute to the HyFlyer II project,” Duncan Kerr of Aeristech said. Our world-leading, power-dense and effective compressor technology is built to allow the future of zero-emission transportation to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and we can’t wait to