With First Flight and More, ZeroAvia Turns a Corner in 2023
By Todd Solomon
February 22, 2023
Last month, ZeroAvia flew a 19-seat Dornier 228, the largest commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cell to date. This was a significant step forward for the decarbonisation of aviation, in time for getting to the UN’s net zero 2050 goal. If you like the sound of that, you might want to stick around for what comes next.
What comes next is the part where ZeroAvia takes the research and development for that first flight and translates it into commercial flights operated by commercial carriers between commercial airports. Real flights for real people... without emissions.
A Tale of Two Engines – the conventional Honeywell TPE 331 stock engine on the right wing and ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine on the left wing.
As you know if you’ve followed our Newsroom, we have already secured a solid list of pre-orders for our zero-emission aviation powertrains. That means we have access to routes for commercial flights. And, as with our recent announcement, we’ve also been busily securing agreements with the commercial airports – including Rotterdam, Edmonton and AGS Airports – needed to host those flights.
But a few things still have to happen before you can board a hydrogen-powered flight. We have to work with the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK to certify our configuration. That process is already underway, so you can be assured of the safety of our hydrogen-electric engine and the components that make it work. We also have to manufacture the powertrains for our launch aircraft. We’re getting ready for both of those key activities, so stick around because guilt-free flying is not far off.
In the meantime, we continue moving forward on the next big thing: an engine powerful enough to serve in a 40–80-seat turboprop aircraft like ATR 42, ATR 72, or Dash 8 series. Even though we just flew the Dornier a few weeks ago, we’re already far down the runway on this next exciting iteration, and we should have some fun photos and more news to share with you soon.
ZeroAvia has turned a real corner toward reducing aviation’s carbon emissions. With the first flight behind us, we can pivot toward certification and toward manufacturing while we continue the terrific progress we’re already making on our next model. Needless to say, these are pretty exciting times for everybody at ZeroAvia.
As everyone on the super-passionate team will tell you, this climate crisis is not going away, so we need to do the hard work now to find solutions. Keep watching this space to see where our work goes next.