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ZeroAvia’s First Official Farnborough
When the ZeroAvia team paced the floors of Farnborough International Airshow three years ago, in the blissfully innocent pre-COVID era, the ambition was set to be back next time with our own stand, displaying our hydrogen-electric systems and announcing big deals from the show floor.
Given our engineers spend a lot of time talking about thermal management, we should have been well-prepared for the realities of exhibiting at the show on Britain’s hottest recorded days. We’d certainly selected a good stand location for foot traffic at one of the main entrance points, but that selection was bolstered by being in one of the most successfully air-conditioned spots!
Thankfully, we were drawing a big crowd due to interest in hydrogen-electric aviation and the progress of our HyFlyer II programme, not just the valiant struggle of Hall One’s buckling cooling system against the elements. The team met hundreds of prospective customers, partners, and plainly enthusiastic supporters from industry and the public sector, with superb, fruitful conversations taking place. The week was also inspiring and edifying, with our team meeting countless aviation innovators, large and small, doing amazing things.
The most heartening takeaway, however, was how central sustainable aviation was to the dialogue and visuals at the airshow. Our CEO Val participated in the Jet Zero Council meeting chaired by the UK’s Aviation Minister. The council discussed the rollout of the zero-emission flight delivery group launched the prior week, with our VP Strategy James McMicking in attendance, which will champion game-changing technology for true zero-emission flight. Later that day, the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps unveiled a bold vision for the Jet Zero Strategy, including firm targets for zero-emission flights and other measures to tackle emissions. It is great to see the UK lead with a strategy here, and we are sure to see other countries follow this example.
Farnborough was also a hectic news period for the company with five important deals for the company announced from the showfloor: a brilliant partnership for fuel cell supply with PowerCell on day one, two powertrain pre-order deals with Ravn Alaska and Red Sea Development Company, an exciting infrastructure tie-up with Edmonton International Airport, and ZeroAvia’s latest $30 million funding round.
Alongside our own news, there were numerous positive reports and announcements that added more hope to the debate of how the industry can curb its growing climate impact. Required reading must be Cambridge University’s Aviation Impact Accelerator’s report, produced in conjunction with the World Economic Forum and demonstrating the need, potential and key unlocks for hydrogen-electric technology and other solutions.
As well as making new friends, Farnborough enabled us to build on existing relationships with conversations with our partners like MHIRJ, United Airlines, De Havilland of Canada, and many others.
And what a way to end an amazing week, with our careers team on hand to meet the Pioneers of Tomorrow. If we enjoyed the growing enlightenment of the boomers, Xers, millennials and Gen Zs amongst the industry execs in attendance, what an energy boost to see how excited tomorrow’s crop of aspiring aviation engineers and execs are for zero-emission aviation to take off now!
Watching (parts) of the flying display was the icing on the cake, and also poses tantalizing questions— as well as ZeroAvia, who else is planning zero-emission flight demonstrations in 2024? What percentage of the display will be using green propulsion technologies in 2026? Finally, what year do we expect there to be no fossil fuel combustion on display whatsoever? Place your bets.
To download more information about ZeroAvia’s powertrain family and approach to hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, please, fill in the form below.
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