Hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia has acquired supply of a 76-passenger aircraft from Alaska Airways it could possibly now retrofit with zero-emissions know-how as promised years in the past. Moreover, the corporate’s developments in modular motor techniques might allow check flights of the aircraft earlier than you’d suppose.
ZeroAvia is a zero-emission aviation firm that specializes hydrogen-electric propulsion options. By operations in each the US and UK, the corporate at the moment holds three experimental certificates for prototype plane from the CAA and FAA.
The corporate is focusing on commercialized electrical aircraft operations starting with 300 mile vary, 9-19 seat plane by 2025 and is already eyeing flights with 40-80 seat plane with as much as 700 miles of vary by 2027.
In late December of 2022, ZeroAvia confirmed that it had lastly acquired the mandatory allow within the UK to get its 19-seat Dornier 228 twin-engine plane airborne and did so (with video) by mid-January.
Whereas the Dornier 228 was on the time, the world’s largest hydrogen electrical aircraft to take flight, we’ve been ready for updates in relation to the 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft promised to ZeroAvia by Alaska Airways mum or dad firm Alaska Air Group – a companion and investor within the aviation developer alongside opponents like United Airways.
Improvement plans for that bigger hydrogen electrical aircraft have been introduced all the way in which again in October of 2021, nevertheless it wasn’t till lately that Alaska Airways delivered the plane for ZeroAvia to start retrofitting it with zero emissions know-how.
ZeroAvia receives aircraft for hydrogen electrical conversion
Throughout a ceremony in Washington state that included Governor Jay Inslee and US Consultant Suzan DelBenem, Alaska Airways formally delivered ZeroAvia the Bombardier Q400 regional turboprop (additionally known as the Sprint 8-400) promised a yr and a half in the past.
Whereas ZeroAvia had the gang’s consideration at its analysis and growth web site, it additionally took the chance to publicly debut its “HyperCore” motor modules. The corporate demonstrated a zero-emissions propeller spin connected to its personal 15-ton HyperTruck testing rig. The prototype configuration consisted of a 1.8MW modular electrical motor system consisting of two, 900kW HyperCore motor modules working at 20,000 rpm, matching the standard turbine engine speeds whereas offering a formidable 15kW/kg of motor energy density.
ZeroAvia shared that the modularity of its HyperCore system design permits for zero-emission aviation functions starting from 900kW as much as 5.4MW – thus sometime providing the potential to efficiently propel the 76-seat Sprint 8-400 electrical aircraft. Maybe as early as subsequent yr. ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov elaborated:
Demonstrating this dimension of plane in flight, powered solely by novel propulsion, would have been unthinkable a number of years in the past. Launching this program places us on observe for a check flight subsequent yr, and accelerates our progress towards the way forward for zero-emission flight for Alaska Airways and for the world at massive.
Trying forward, the corporate should additionally certify its ZA2000 propulsion system powered by the brand new modular HyperCore motors as nicely. As with all-electric aircraft information, that is an thrilling story to comply with, and we look ahead to the following replace from ZeroAvia and it appears to be like to get the Q400 airborne.
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