ZeroAvia expands hydrogen-electric aviation program to 19-seat aircraft in HyFlyer II; raises additional $13M
ZeroAvia has secured two twin-engine 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft for the next phase of its research and development for clean hydrogen-electric aviation. (Earlier post.) One Dornier is in the UK, the other in the US, provided respectively by Aurigny and AMC Aviation. Both aircraft were previously in service for regional flights in the US and UK, demonstrating the opportunity for carbon reduction on existing routes.
ZeroAvia 19-seat prototype
ZeroAvia’s 19-seat R&D is part of HyFlyer II, the second ZeroAvia-led project backed by the UK Government to target the development of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
As part of HyFlyer I, ZeroAvia successfully demonstrated a 250kW powerplant in a 6-seat aircraft across three flight test campaigns, achieving all the project’s technical goals, including fuel-cell only cruise flight. All the learnings of HyFlyer I will be fully utilized in the development of a 600kW 19-seater powerplant in HyFlyer II.
ZeroAvia has also secured an additional $13 million for its 50+ seat engine development program from AP Ventures, a significant investor in breakthrough technologies across the hydrogen value chain; Alumni Ventures Group; SGH Capital; Agartha Fund LP; and existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures, SYSTEMIQ, and Horizons Ventures.
This new funding complements the initial investment of $24 million the company announced a few weeks ago, bringing the total private investment into ZeroAvia large engine development for 50+ seat aircraft to $37 million.
For the 19-seat aircraft, two 600KW units of the company’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will replace the aircraft’s twin engines, along with hydrogen fuel tanks eventually holding 100kg of compressed gaseous hydrogen to support the 500-mile range of the commercial offering in 2024.
Additionally, ZeroAvia is progressing the software, hardware, mechanical integration, and fuel cell balance-of-plant to the certifiable state. The 6-ton aircraft will have a range of 500 nautical miles.
ZeroAvia’s new 30,000-square foot Kemble facility will act as the dedicated base for developing ZeroAvia’s 600kW engine class and marks a significant investment in and expansion of its UK-based R&D program. The company’s Hollister, California location will assist the UK team with testing and will be responsible for building the second demonstration aircraft for commercialization of technology in North America.
The company currently employs about 50 people, expanding to over 100 in the next 12 months across both the US and UK.