Two of general aviation's most innovative and progressive companies, ZeroAvia and Otto Aviation, yesterday announced a partnership agreement to produce a Celera aircraft powered by a hydrogen-electric system.
Otto Aviation has been developing the futuristic Celera 500L corporate aeroplane in the USA using a liquid-cooled V-12 Red A03 engine and a laminar-flow wing to achieve jet-like performance. Adopting the ZeroAvia powertrain promises to deliver zero-emissions flight.
Otto Aviation will integrate ZeroAvia’s ZA600 zero-emission engines to the Celera airframe, which, if successful, could make the Celera the first clean-sheet aircraft design to leverage zero-emission propulsion in its launch models.
"ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain helps us to realize the commitment Otto has made to lower operating costs and climate impact for operators," said Otto Aviation's William Otto. "Otto is looking to provide the most efficient aircraft in all senses of the word, minimising maintenance and operating costs and reducing emissions.”
ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov said working with a new design meant the powertrain could be better adapted to the aircraft.
“The majority of our commercial deals to date have focused on retrofit and line-fit for existing airframes, which is essential to deliver zero-emission flight to market as quickly as possible," he said. "However, efficiency gains from new airframe design can expand the impact of zero-emission aviation.
"We are pleased to collaborate with innovators like Otto Aviation, bringing cutting-edge clean sheet designs to market as we can optimize the hydrogen-electric propulsion system for those designs.”
According to Otto Aviation, a ZeroAvia-powered Celera will offer long range zero-emission flights while reducing operating costs due to reduced maintenance costs and falling hydrogen-fuel prices.
The Celera design can accommodate large volumes of hydrogen within the fuselage that will enable a 1000 nm range.
Otto Aviation is targetting the second half of this year to get FAA type certification for the Red-powered Celera 500L, projecting $328/hour operating costs against comparable jet figures of $2100/hour and a speed of nearly 400 knots.