UK company ZeroAvia has acquired two Dornier 228s as part of a program to develop hydrogen-electric power trains for a 19-seat aircraft.
The development path will mate the Dorniers two 600 kW powerplants proven through the company's six-seat Piper M350 program. The two aircraft will be based at ZeroAvia facilities at Kemble in the UK with support from a plant at Hollister in California.
The two 600-kW hydrogen-electric power units will replace the aircraft’s twin engines, and hydrogen fuel tanks eventually holding 100kg of compressed gaseous hydrogen will be installed to support the 500-mile range of the commercial offering in 2024.
Val Miftakhov, Founder and CEO at ZeroAvia, said the company was keen to get on with the next phase of the program.
“We are eager and ready to begin testing our hydrogen-electric powertrain technology on a larger commercial-size aircraft and grateful to our investors and grant funders for their continued support of our vision for sustainable aviation," he said.
"Various projections indicate that aviation may account for over 25% of human-induced climate effects by 2050. We are on the path to helping reverse that trend, first with our successful six-seater testing and now with the R&D for our 19-seater, and the kick-off of our 50+ seat program.
"Hydrogen is the only practical solution for true climate-neutral flight, and it will become a commercial reality much sooner than many predict.”
ZeroAvia also announced this week that they had secured $US13 million in funding from several large investors to further develop a 50-seat airliner powered by hydrogen-electric systems. The total now available for the large aircraft program is $US37 million.