ZeroAvia aims to develop a hydrogen-fueled powertrain technology to compete with conventional engines in propeller light aircrafts at the moment, and to be closer to zero-emission with less noise.
ZeroAvia is a British/American hydrogen-electric aircraft developer. Valery Miftakhov is the CEO of the company, created in 2017. The aim of ZeroAvia is to develop a hydrogen-fueled powertrain technology to compete with conventional engines in propeller light aircrafts at the moment (maybe bigger aircrafts in the future), and to be closer to zero-emission with less noise.
ZeroAvia aims to sell their products by 2023 and already demonstrates flights up to 500 miles (800km) in aircraft up to 20 seats. In fact, the market for light hydrogen aircraft is booming and many companies are developing their concept. H2FLY, Airbus, Boeing, ZeroAvia and many other companies are betting on the hydrogen aircraft for 2035. Hydrogen storage is the biggest obstacle to the development of this type of aircraft. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine seeing an A320 flying on hydrogen alone for decades to come. On the other hand, for smaller aircraft, which are lighter and fly shorter distances, these constraints are reduced and allow us to project ourselves into the near future.
ZeroAvia’s ambition :
Let us take a look at ZeroAvia, one of the key players in the development of light hydrogen aircrafts. ZeroAvia aims to enable zero emission air travel at scale, starting with 500 mile short-haul trips, at half of today’s costs. Their Novel approach would remove many limitations of the current zero emission programs. ZeroAvia promises a zero-emission powertrain with 75% lower fuel and maintenance costs, resulting in up to 50% total trip cost reduction. The powertrain delivers 300-500 miles zero emission missions in a 10-20 seat fixed wing aircraft to utilize existing infrastructures and simplify regulatory issues. ZeroAvia’s sustainable vision is based on the production of hydrogen using renewable energies such as wind and solar power to power hydrogen electrolyzers and thus reduce emissions to a minimum.
ZeroAvia’s roadmap :
Regarding their roadmap and timeline, tests are underway to make their first commercial offer (10-20 seats) operational by 2024. In 2026, ZeroAvia plans to have a capacity of 50-90 seats, then in 2030, 100-200 seats, with a 2,000 nautical miles range. By 2035 and 2040 they are also expecting to expand more the number of seats available and also the range.
In August 2021, ZeroAvia completed its first high-power run of the ZA-600, a hydrogen aircraft engine. Ground testing included a flight-intent 600kW powertrain, which pulled a 15-ton HyperTruck mobile ground testing platform across the tarmac. The HyperTruck tests systems for 40-80 seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft and is sized to ZeroAvia’s ZA-2000 2MW+ powertrain. These propulsion system tests are for the HyFlyer II programme, which hopes to develop a hydrogen-electric, zero-emission propulsion system for airframes 10-20 seats in size. Later in 2021, the first HyFlyer II’s Dornier 228 aircraft test-flights are anticipated to take place at the company’s Kmeble facility.
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