UK Aviation Minister Visits ZeroAvia to Announce Recipients of Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure Grants
September 29, 2021
— The UK’s Aviation Minister, Robert Courts MP, visited ZeroAvia’s new facility at Cotswold Airport in Kemble this week to announce the grant winners.
— ZeroAvia has received a grant under the scheme to research infrastructure for aircraft with more than 50 seats.
Kemble, UK — 29 September 2021: ZeroAvia, the leading innovator in hydrogen-electric zero emission powertrains, hosted the Department for Transport’s Aviation Minister, Robert Courts MP this week at its Cotswold Airport site in Kemble, Gloucestershire. Mr Courts visited the site alongside Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, met with the company’s growing UK team and saw first-hand the progress being made on ZeroAvia’s 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft as part of the UK Government-backed HyFlyer II project, in partnership with EMEC and Aeristech.
During his visit, Mr Courts announced that ZeroAvia is amongst the successful applicants to a new transport research and innovation grants (TRIG) competition, the Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) programme which will develop the aerospace sector’s ability to support the next generation of hydrogen-electric and other zero emission aircraft. ZEFI will be managed by the Connected Places Catapult and funded by the Department for Transport.
ZeroAvia is working to bring certified hydrogen-electric powertrains into service from 2024, meaning that operators will be able to begin eliminating the climate impacts of their fleets. Thanks to the substantial energy density of hydrogen and the efficiency of fuel cell technology, hydrogen-electric technology is the only viable solution to meet zero-emission aviation goals.
To ensure that the industry is ready to adopt this technology once certified, operators will need to ensure their aircraft can be refuelled at airports with low carbon hydrogen. Similarly, airports will need to understand how to manage hydrogen on-site and to leverage aviation adoption to support decarbonisation of other ground operations. As part of Mr Courts’ visit, ZeroAvia showcased the work it has undertaken to scale up its Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE), developed in conjunction with EMEC - showing a microcosm of the kind of infrastructure that will be needed.
ZeroAvia’s ZEFI project announced today is LHARE - a concept study for liquid hydrogen mobile refuelling vehicles. The company’s R&D roadmap is targeting 50-90 seat aircraft with a range in excess of 1,000 nautical miles by 2026, but this will require a move from hydrogen gas to liquid hydrogen as the fuel for more efficient storage. The Government’s FlyZero programme last week identified liquid hydrogen as the fuel of the future in its first output document.
Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful with the Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure project and to have the opportunity to show the Aviation Minister just how these projects are critical to the future of zero emission aviation.
“In the future, we believe there will be a hydrogen-electric engine in every aircraft, as this is the only viable way to deliver truly zero emission aircraft and to comprehensively tackle the industry’s growing climate impact. When we deliver our first hydrogen-electric powertrains into service in 2024, operators need to be able to fuel their aircraft with low carbon hydrogen, and today’s announcement is a big step towards that.”
Robert Courts MP also visited ZeroAvia just over a year ago at its previous R&D site at Cranfield Airport, witnessing the company’s milestone world-first flight of a commercial grade hydrogen-electric aircraft, with the Piper Malibu engaging its hydrogen fuel cell in flight for the first time.
Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:
“As we move towards a new era of greener flying, we need state-of-the-art infrastructure at our airports to support the transition.
It was great to see first-hand the work ZeroAvia are doing to make this a reality, helping to refuel zero emission flights of the future, slashing emissions and creating green jobs in the process.”
ZeroAvia is working to deliver a 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain for aircraft of up to 19-seats, and is expected to begin its first test flights in the coming months, starting with a hybrid configuration. ZeroAvia recently took delivery of a Dornier-228 aircraft that will be the dedicated testbed for the HyFlyer II project, part funded by the ATI programme and its programme partners Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK and the ATI.
In addition to tackling aviation’s in-flight climate impacts, hydrogen infrastructure at airports has the potential to also enable the electrification of other airport vehicles, machinery and power generation, for example powering buses and HGVs that visit airports regularly.
ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting 500-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, cargo, agriculture, and more. Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024. The company’s expanding UK operations are supported by grants from UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Prime Minister’s Jet Zero Council. For more, please visit ZeroAvia.com, follow @ZeroAvia on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.