ZeroAvia has announced the completion of a 10-flight test campaign of its hydrogen-powered aircraft at Cotswold Airport (GBA) in the United Kingdom.
The company, which made the announcement on July 19, 2023, used a Dornier 228 as a testbed for the ZA600 hydrogen-electric engine.
Over the past six months, ZeroAvia tested a variety of areas, including the performance of the engine, with the Dornier 228 flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1524 meters), completing an endurance flight of 23 minutes, and operating in a wide range of temperatures. Those temperatures ranged from just above freezing to almost 30°C (86°F).
ZeroAvia noted that one of the takeaways of the testing campaign was that “the fuel cell power generation and electric propulsion system that are the core components of the novel zero-emission engine, performed at or above expectations”.
The hydrogen engine matched the power of a jet fuel-powered engine mounted on the opposite wings, with the pilots flying the Dornier turboprop on hydrogen power during certain tests.
“Zero-emission flight technologies are moving from promise to delivery and our amazing team is leading the way with this testing programme,” said Val Miftakhov, the chief executive officer of ZeroAvia,
“We do not have to push the unappealing choices on passengers of paying more or flying less to deliver climate-conscious air travel,” she added, stating that the industry could adopt hydrogen to quickly reduce emissions instead.
The 10-flight testing program is part of the HyFlyer II Project, partly funded by the UK Government via the Aerospace Technology Institute.
ZeroAvia completed the first flight of the testing campaign in January 2023, after the UK Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) issued approval in December 2022.
Following the flight test campaign, ZeroAvia plans to operate cross-country flights as the next stage of testing and demonstration.