The ZeroAvia aircraft on runway preparing for the hydrogen-electric flight 930 (credit Stanton Media)


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The HyFlyer project aims to decarbonise medium range small passenger aircraft by demonstrating powertrain technology to replace conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft. The conventional powertrain in the aircraft will be replaced with electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells and gas storage.

HyFlyer will demonstrate a phased approach from battery power to hydrogen power, integrating the new technology aboard a Piper M-class six-seater aircraft. The aircraft will perform initial test flights out of Cranfield and culminate in a 250 – 300 nautical mile (NM) A – B demonstration flight.

The project is led by Zeroavia, developers of hydrogen fuel cell powertrain solutions. Project partners Intelligent Energy will optimise its high power fuel cell technology for application in aviation whilst EMEC Hydrogen, producers of green hydrogen from renewable energy, will supply the hydrogen required for flight tests and develop a mobile refuelling platform compatible with the plane.

The HyFlyer hydrogen refuelling solution supporting ZeroAvia's test flight programme at Cranfield Airport (Credit Stanton Media)

The HyFlyer hydrogen refuelling solution supporting ZeroAvia’s test flight programme at Cranfield Airport (Credit Stanton Media)

Project objectives:

  • Deliver world’s first fuel cell powertrain for zero-emission aviation
  • Prove technology, repowering existing airframes for sub 500 NM aircraft
  • Prove aviation maintenance and operations for technology
  • Stimulate and the aviation market and service offering for the entrance of this technology

The HyFlyer project is supported by the ATI Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme, delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, addresses technology, capability and supply chain challenges.

Project partners:

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Project news:

November 2020: EMEC mobile hydrogen refuelling solution to power aviation world first

September 2020: HyFlyer project achieves world-first hydrogen electric flight

June 2020: HyFlyer progress – ZeroAvia conductions UK’s first commercial-scale electric flight 

Dec 2019: EMEC Award HyFLYER Hydrogen Refuelling Contract to Fuel Cell Systems

Sept 2019: HyFLYER Zero-Emission Aircraft Flight Tests set for Orkney

Events & Webinars:

June 2020:

EMEC Hydrogen Webinar | Decarbonising Lifeline Services in Orkney using Hydrogen

ZeroAvia Virtual Summit| Path to Clean Aviation in a New World







Aquamarine Power


Atlantis Resources Corporation



Naval Group

Naval Group


Open Hydro


Orbital Marine




ScottishPower Renewables



Sustainable Marine Energy

Sustainable Marine Energy


Voith Hydro


Wello Oy

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