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ZeroAvia Unveils Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain For Aviation

Aug 29,2019

In the latest effort to make aviation sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ZeroAvia announced advancements in developing a hydrogen-fueled electric powertrain.

 

The solution aims to deliver the same performance as a conventional aircraft engine, and much lower operating costs. ZeroAvia plans to start supplying its platform to commercial operators and aircraft manufacturers in 2022, initially targeting up to 500-mile regional flights in 10 to 20-seat fixed-wing aircraft.

 

ZeroAvia was founded by serial cleantech entrepreneur Val Miftakhov, who is also an avid airplane and helicopter pilot. He previously founded and was the CEO of eMotorWerks, a smart grid electric vehicle charging company acquired in 2017. The core leadership team at ZeroAvia includes alumni from Tesla, BMW, NVIDIA, Zee Aero, Air Liquide, and SystemIQ, as well as other founding members of eMotorWerks.

 

The company is already flight-testing its powertrain prototype in a Piper M-Class airframe. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an Experimental R&D Certificate to ZeroAvia¡¯s Piper M-Class R&D platform earlier this year.

 

At a 2-ton takeoff weight and with six seats in a business-class arrangement, it is currently the world¡¯s largest zero-emission aircraft flying without any fossil fuel support, according to publicly available information. The aircraft has completed a variety of test flights, which validated key components and their integration into a complete powertrain system. These tests confirm the company¡¯s fuel economy and maximum power delivery targets.

 

ZeroAvia is initially targeting 500-mile flights to serve the short-haul and commuter air travel markets, which make up nearly half the commercial flights worldwide. Powered by ZeroAvia powertrains, smaller zero-emission aircraft could achieve similar per-seat economics as today¡¯s large regional jets, allowing economical use of smaller local airports for point-to-point travel with virtually no security lines or delays, and a much more pleasant overall flying experience.

 

In addition to passenger transport, the ZeroAvia powertrain could have applications across other use cases including cargo, air taxi, agriculture, as well as across the aircraft types, including manned and unmanned fixed-wing, rotorcraft, and more.

 

Starting in 2022, the ZeroAvia powertrain will offer operators a sustainable option for new aircraft made by established manufacturers where customers already purchase their aircraft. ZeroAvia will lease the drivetrain to customers and provide fuel and maintenance as part of its power-by-the-hour model, in which customers pay only for the hours that they use the drivetrain. This model emulates engine leasing options already popular in the aviation market.

 

During the ¡°13th Five-Year Plan¡± period, domestic civil aircrafts have developed rapidly in such four major sectors as trunkliner, regional aircraft, general aviation and helicopter. Relevant data shows that China needs more than 7,000 civil aircrafts in 2017-2036, with a total value of more than USD 1 trillion. The annual average market space of China's electromechanical systems exceeds USD 8 billion. At present, the electromechanical system for aviation industry provides 11 systems, including power system, fuel system, hydraulic system, auxiliary power system and air management system, for civil aircrafts such as C919, MA60, MA700, AG600, ARJ21, Y 12, AC313, LE 500, and HO 300. The Civil Electromechanics System International Forum 2019 is committed to optimizing the electromechanical products of civil aircrafts and digital manufacturing with information technology to achieve excellence in the automation of electromechanical systems.

 

Under this background, the 4th Annual AERO ELECTROMECHANICS CHINA 2019 will be held in the city of Nanjing on October 22nd ¨C 23rd, register your interest or get in touch with marketing@galleon.cc for more details.

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