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ZeroAvia expands hydrogen-electric aviation program

ZeroAvia’s 19-seat R&D is part of HyFlyer II, the second ZeroAvia-led project backed by the UK government to target the development of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.

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ZeroAvia is ramping up its 19-seat aircraft program to decarbonize regional air travel. The company will utilize two twin-engine 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft – one in the UK and one in the U.S., provided respectively by Aurigny and AMC Aviation. Both aircraft were previously in service for regional flights in the U.S. and UK, demonstrating the opportunity for carbon reduction on existing routes.

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ZeroAvia’s 19-seat R&D is part of HyFlyer II, the second ZeroAvia-led project backed by the UK government to target the development of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. As part of HyFlyer I, ZeroAvia demonstrated a 250kW powerplant in a six-seat aircraft across three flight test campaigns, achieving a fuel-cell-only cruise flight.

For the 19-seat aircraft, two 600kW units of the company’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will replace the aircraft’s twin engines, along with hydrogen fuel tanks eventually holding 100kg of compressed gaseous hydrogen to support the 500-mile range of the commercial offering in 2024. Additionally, ZeroAvia says it is progressing the software, hardware, mechanical integration, and fuel cell balance-of-plant to the certifiable state. The 6-ton aircraft will have a range of 500 nautical miles, the company says.

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ZeroAvia has also secured an additional $13 million for its 50-plus seat engine development program from AP Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, SGH Capital, Agartha Fund LP, and existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures, SYSTEMIQ, and Horizons Ventures. This new funding complements the initial investment of $24 million the company announced a few weeks ago, bringing the total private investment into ZeroAvia large engine development for 50-plus seat aircraft to $37 million.

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