A start-up made aviation history Thursday by successfully flying the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft in history, potentially paving the way for less environmentally harmful flight.
ZeroAviam’s 19-seat plane, dubbed the Dornier 228, has taken off from Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire, England, on a 10-minute flight. According to the company, a prototype hydrogen-electric powertrain was retrofitted and performed as expected, marking a major milestone for the future of zero-emission aviation.
ZeroAviam counts commercial airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines among its investors, and one of the world’s most polluting aviation industries is developing technology to decarbonize air travel. are investing in Hydrogen is considered one of the most promising alternative fuel sources, and Thursday’s demonstration marks a major step forward towards his ZeroAvia goal of using the technology to operate commercial routes by 2025. increase.
“This is an important moment, not just for ZeroAvia, but for the aviation industry as a whole,” ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov said in a statement Thursday. It shows,” he said. “Our maiden flight of his 19-seat aircraft shows how scalable our technology is and highlights rapid progress in zero-emissions propulsion.”
The company’s customers have pre-ordered 1,500 engines, which are expected to be delivered in 2025. The engine prototype received certificates of experimentation from both the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the US Federal Aviation Administration. ZeroAvia is also working on the powertrain. It can fly aircraft with up to 90 seats.
“This flight has opened the gates and provided important proof that hydrogen-electricity can be viable on the ground as well as in the air. All that remains now is to get it certified and put into commercial operation,” said ZeroAvia. I’m here. Chief Commercial Officer Sergey Kiselev told his CBS MoneyWatch. “We’ve proven that it’s possible to fly bigger aircraft than we’ve ever done before, and that makes a lot of sense commercially.”
United, which has ordered 50 hydrogen-electric engines from ZeroAvia, sees the technology as an integral part of its sustainability strategy and an important alternative to sustainable aviation fuel generated from waste sources.
Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, an airline corporate venture fund that invests in startups, told CBS Moneywatch:
He envisions using ZeroAvia’s technology to power short-haul airline flights of up to 500 miles (500 miles) in aircraft of up to 76 seats. Because hydrogen-electric aircraft require less maintenance and are more cost-effective than traditional systems, ZeroAvia’s innovation could also help airlines restore service in smaller, scaled-down regions.
“Many smaller cities have lost service because of the cost.With these technologies, United believes they will be able to restore more frequent service and service to airports that are currently out of service. ‘ said Leskinen.