Aviation startup ZeroAvia has made history by completing the first commercial flight of a hydrogen fuel cell aircraft.
ZeroAvia’s 19-passenger electric plane successfully completed its inaugural flight less than a month after getting approval to fly from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The flight sets a new record for the biggest operational hydrogen-electric engine-powered aircraft in the world, and (depending on who you believe) represents a significant development for low-emission aviation.
The ZeroAvia’s electric motors are powered by energy created in an on-board hydrogen fuel cell, which allows for rapid refueling and quick turnaround. The plain is packing a 600kW powertrain and is targeting nine to nineteen seat aircraft with a range of 300 miles that will be ready for market in 2024, followed by a two to five MW version with a 700-mile range.
The company has backing from Alaska Air Group and United Airlines, and raised an additional $30 million in funding last summer to help get its hydrogen-electric airplane tech off the ground (literally!).
The company presently conducts business in both the US and the UK and has already received experimental certificates from the CAA and FAA for prototype aircraft. You can watch its historic first flight, below, then let us know what you think of ZeroAvia’s chances for success in the comments.
ZeroAvia Dornier228 | First Flight
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