Aviation company ZeroAvia successfully completed its first commercial-scale electric flight from their base at Cranfield Airport yesterday (June 22).
The flight used hydrogen-electric power which offers the same zero-emission potential of battery-electric, but has a better energy-to-weight ratio, making it viable for commercial operations at a larger scale and in a shorter time frame.
The hydrogen-electric power is also projected to have lower operating costs due to the high cost of battery cycling in typical regional aircraft.
The six-seater test flight is a significant milestone both for the UK’s net-zero and green aviation ambitions.
ZeroAvia plans to test longer-distance flights later this summer and they hope to have commercial relevant, certified 20-seater flights ready within three years and 50-100 seater flights ready by the end of the decade.
This project is part of the government-backed Project HyFlyer. Funded through Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)-led Aerospace R&T programme, the project aims to decarbonise medium-range small passenger aircrafts by replacing conventional engines with hydrogen-electric fuel.
Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia founder and CEO said: ‘Today’s flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero-emission flight closer to reality.
‘We all want the aviation industry to come back after the pandemic on a firm footing to be able to move to a net-zero future, with a green recovery. That will not be possible without realistic, commercial options for zero-emission flight, something we will bring to market as early as 2023.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay