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Press release: EMEC to fuel ZeroAvia’s 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft ambition

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

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

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has strengthened its partnership with ZeroAvia through the launch of the HyFlyer II project. EMEC will supply green hydrogen for the 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft development programme, to help make zero-emission flights a commercial reality.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK, the HyFlyer II project will see ZeroAvia develop the first certifiable hydrogen-electric powertrain that can power airframes carrying up to 19 passengers. To do this, ZeroAvia is collaborating with two partners, EMEC and Aeristech.

Within the £12.3 million funded project, EMEC will deliver the green hydrogen fuelling systems required to power the aircraft for flight tests, including its mobile fuelling platform designed to suit an airport environment.
Aeristech, a leading developer of power dense and efficient air compressor solutions, will work with ZeroAvia to integrate its advanced air compressor system as part of the new 19-seat powertrain.

The grant award follows on from the first HyFlyer project which saw the world’s first flight of a commercial-grade hydrogen-electric aircraft at Cranfield in September, utilising a smaller version of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in a 6-seat Piper Malibu M350.

HyFlyer II will build on this success by bringing to market the first hydrogen-electric powertrain suitable for aircraft of up to 19-seats. The project will conclude with another world-first hydrogen-electric flight this time in a 19-seat aircraft with a 350 mile flight in early 2023.

Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia comments:

“We are delighted with the ATI’s decision to back our 19-seat powertrain development programme. This project is instrumental for delivering a market-ready hydrogen powered solution for 2023 that makes passenger-ready zero carbon aviation a reality. It once again demonstrates the ‘Jet Zero’ ambition of the UK Government to take a leading role in making flight sustainable and we are proud that they have put their faith in us again to deliver another milestone for hydrogen-electric aviation.”

Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC comments:

“We’re thrilled to be supporting the HyFlyer II project. This is an important milestone for UK aerospace, which will exploit EMEC’s world-leading hydrogen activities. As well as providing green hydrogen to demonstrate zero carbon aviation, EMEC will develop a hydrogen refuelling solution capable of dispensing volumes approaching the speed of commercial aviation. This will be a major step forward for the sector.”

Duncan Kerr, CEO of Aeristech comments:

“We’re excited to be partnering with ZeroAvia and contributing to the HyFlyer II project. Our world leading power dense and efficient compressor technology is designed to enable hydrogen fuel cells to power the future of zero emissions transport, and we cannot wait to work with Val and the team to put it into action for aviation.”
HyFlyer II is an important next step for ZeroAvia’s sequential R&D pathway to realising the transformational possibilities of moving from fossil fuels to zero-emission hydrogen as the primary energy source for commercial aviation. Eventually, and without any new fundamental science required, hydrogen-powered aircraft will match the flight distances and payload of the current fossil fuel aircraft.

Recently, ZeroAvia was also invited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to join the UK’s Jet Zero Council and help lead the UK towards the ambitious goal of achieving the first ever zero emission long haul passenger flight.

Energy Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:

“Next year, as the UK assumes the Chair of the G7 nations and hosts COP26, we have an exciting opportunity to lead through example on climate change as we power towards net zero with our new ambitious plan to put the UK at the forefront of the green industrial revolution and a green jobs boom.

“ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer II project will bring yet another first for zero-emission flight to British skies, boosting our work through the Jet Zero Council, as well as positioning the country as a leader in green aviation technology and ensuring the UK builds back greener after the pandemic.”

The Aerospace Technology Institute’s programme is supported by Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Gary Elliott, CEO of the Aerospace Technology Institute, said:

“The HyFlyer project, funded by the ATI Programme, grabbed the world’s attention with its pioneering flight just a few months ago. The ATI is pleased to support the successor to that project, HyFlyer II, which will ensure the UK is once again the home of a major step forward in sustainable aerospace technology.”








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