British regional airline Loganair is aiming to launch the world’s first zero emissions passenger air service using a hydrogen-electric Britten-Norman Islander plane.
“This strategic alliance encompasses operational requirements and design, standards and regulations, infrastructure development, and stakeholder engagement,” Cranfield Aerospace Solutions said.
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions is the expert team behind Project Fresson and its hydrogen-powered aircraft demonstrator.
The plan is to introduce the hydrogen-electric Britten-Norman Islander aircraft into operational service at Kirkwall Airport (KOI) and the Orkney region by 2027.
“The short haul routes we operate in Orkney and the challenging weather conditions we face, make the ideal test bed for hydrogen-electric aircraft, and we are incredibly proud that we could be offering the world’s first commercial zero emissions flights,” Peter Simpson, Executive Chairman of Loganair, said.
Loganair has set an ambitious goal to achieve net zero across its entire operations by 2040 and underscores the airline’s proactive approach toward implementing sustainable aviation, including the potential adoption of Cranfield Aerospace Solutions’ hydrogen fuel cell technology into their Islander fleet.
“This Memorandum of Understanding marks a significant stride toward achieving zero-emission flight in the Orkney Islands and potentially enabling the first zero emissions passenger air service, right here in the UK. Collaborating closely with Loganair, we aim to harness our combined experience and expertise to address the operational and infrastructure considerations, ultimately ensuring the successful deployment of the hydrogen-electric Britten-Norman Islander across Loganair’s lifeline routes within the islands,” Paul Hutton, CEO, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, said.
In the meantime, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions plans to continue developing a proprietary hydrogen fuel-cell (HFC) propulsion system with a target for the first aircraft taking flight in Kirkwall by 2027, post certification in 2026.