Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.
 

Front page

Project HyFlyer, a Piper M-class six-seater aircraft, enabled by ZeroAvia’s hydrogen powertrain, during its first electric flight. (Photo: Zeroavia)

ZeroAvia conducts UK's first commercial-scale electric flight

ZeroAvia, the leading innovator in decarbonising commercial aviation, conducted the first ever electric-powered flight of a commercial-scale aircraft carried out in the UK. The test flight is a significant milestone both for the UK's net zero and green aviation ambitions, and for ZeroAvia on the journey to demonstrating long-distance zero emission flights in large aircraft.

The company successfully completed the first flight of the new version of its powertrain from its base at Cranfield Airport.

ZeroAvia is focused on developing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Hydrogen-electric offers the same zero-emission potential of battery-electric, but has a much more promising energy-to-weight ratio, making it viable for commercial operations at a much larger scale and in a shorter time frame. Additionally, hydrogen-electric powertrain is projected to have lower operating costs due to the high cost of battery cycling in typical high-utilization regional aircraft. The longer-distance hydrogen-electric test flights are planned for later this summer.

Beyond HyFlyer, ZeroAvia plans commercially relevant, certified 10-20 seat configurations ready to go within three years, and 50-100 seat configurations in flight by the end of the decade. The company projects that aircraft over 200 seats with a range in excess of 3,000 nautical miles is achievable by 2040 without requiring any fundamental scientific breakthroughs.

In spite of the challenges presented by the lockdown, and thanks to the support by the Airport's Operations team, Cranfield University, and Cranfield Aerospace, the HyFlyer project has made big strides in progressing the programme with minimal delays. A hydrogen refuelling infrastructure has recently been commissioned, and ZeroAvia has completed a full set of ground-based full-power flight simulations for its long-distance hydrogen flights.

"Today's flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero emission flight closer to reality," said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia Founder and CEO. "We all want the aviation industry to come back after the pandemic on a firm footing to be able to move to a net zero future, with a green recovery. That will not be possible without realistic, commercial options for zero emission flight, something we will bring to market as early as 2023."

ZeroAvia's innovation programme in the UK is part of the UK Government-backed Project HyFlyer. Funded through Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)-led Aerospace R&T programme, Project HyFlyer aims to decarbonise medium-range small passenger aircraft by demonstrating powertrain technology to replace conventional engines in propeller aircraft. The conventional powertrain in the aircraft will be replaced with electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells and gas storage.

"The ATI is delighted to see the first flight of ZeroAvia's battery-electric aircraft at Cranfield," said Dr Simon Weeks, Chief Technology Officer, ATI. "This exciting ATI funded project is the next step in an effort to develop a commercial zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial aircraft in the UK."

Project HyFlyer will culminate in a UK-based 250-300 nautical mile (NM) flight from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. This project is a key step on ZeroAvia's journey towards supplying to commercial operators and aircraft manufacturers in 2023, initially targeting up to 500-mile regional flights in 10 to 20-seat fixed-wing aircraft. ZeroAvia's solution aims to deliver the same performance as a conventional aircraft engine, but with zero carbon emissions and at around half of the operating costs.

As part of the project, ZeroAvia is partnering with some of the most innovative technology, advanced manufacturing, energy and aviation companies in the UK. The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is supporting the development of the infrastructure needed to fuel the aircraft with green hydrogen, at Cranfield and on Orkney. Market leading fuel cell engineering company Intelligent Energy is optimising its proprietary high-power evaporatively cooled fuel cell technology for aviation use cases.

Press release issued by ZeroAvia, Inc on June 23, 2020

 

 Contact details from our directory:
ZeroAvia, Inc Fuel Cells, Airborne Electrical Power Supplies, Electric Power Controllers
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions Ltd Research/Consulting Services, Testing Services, Certification Services, Airborne Electrical Power Supplies, Fabricating Services, Flight Management Systems
Cranfield University Aerospace Research/Consulting Services, Welding, Accident Investigation, Human Factors Engineering, Project Management, Reliability & Maintainability Services, Systems Analysis, Logistics Consultants, Marketing Consultants, Management Studies, Design Services, Academic Institutions
ATI Aerospace Technology Institute Research/Consulting Services, Technical/Eng/Scientific Studies
Intelligent Energy Ltd Fuel Cells

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Piper M500/M600

 

 Related directory sectors:
Electrical Power Systems
Electrical Components

Enhanced listings:


Quintus Technologies
Quintus Technologies is a global leading provider of high pressure fluid cell presses and hydroform deep-draw presses for sheet metal forming

ACB
Metal forming, machining & integration solutions.

AMETEK PDS
Global design and manufacturer of components and systems to the aerospace & defense industry for over 80 years.

Toray Advanced Composites
Toray Advanced Composites is a leading provider of thermoset and thermoplastic prepregs to the aerospace industry.

Fastems Group
World leading factory automation and production management software for the machining industries.

See our advertising tariff.

 

1
data pages remaining in monthly quota for non-subscribers

© Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2020. Terms & Conditions of reading. Privacy policy