In a large step forward towards zero-emission aviation, ZeroAvia has accomplished the first flight of its hydrogen-electric Dornier 228 testbed. The flight occured on January 19, 2023 at Cotswold Airport (approx. 2 hours west of London).

ZeroAvia successfully carries out the first flight test of its Dornier 228 19-seat testbed in Gloucestershire, UK, marking a pivotal milestone in ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer II program.

The retrofit Dornier 228 had its left turboprop engine equipped with ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain and flew for approximately 10 minutes before returning to land. The company’s ZA600 propulsion system includes a 600kW array of batteries and uses several gaseous canisters staged in the fuselage. To date, the 10 minute flight holds the record for the largest and heaviest aircraft platform to fly on hydrogen-electric hybrid power.

All systems performed as expected. This is the largest ZeroAvia engine tested to date, and places the company on a direct path to a certifiable configuration to be finalized and submitted for certification in 2023. This program also serves as key to unlocking speedy technology development for larger aircraft. ZeroAvia’s 2-5 MW powertrain program, already underway, will scale the clean engine technology for up to 90-seat aircraft, with further expansion into narrowbody aircraft demonstrators over the next decade.

Celebrating this remarkable progress, Val Miftakhov, Founder and CEO of ZeroAvia said: “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. Our approach is the best solution to accelerate clean aviation at scale. Congratulations to everyone on our team and all of our partners and stakeholders for the collective effort that brought us to this monumental day in history.” 

Why it matters: The flight of the ZA600 powertrain is ZeroAvia’s largest to date. As further development and flight tests are conducted, it’s likely that larger powertrains become ready for flight. Doing so will unlock hydrogen-powered regional transportation for turboprop aircraft without any environmental emissions, and pave the way to the future of flight.

Source: ZeroAvia Press Release

Posted by Ross Piscoran