Mitsubishi & ZeroAvia Join Forces to Build Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

Helen Keller once said, “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Seems like ZeroAvia took her quote very seriously. The zero-emission flight specialist has recently announced that it is joining forces with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ) for building and retrofitting a regional hydrogen-powered aircraft.

For those who don’t know, ZeroAvia is a British/American hydrogen-electric aircraft developer that is responsible for the zero-emissions powertrain technology. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries RJ Aviation Group, on the other hand, covers design, certification, and the support experience for CRJ Series aircraft.

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Our sources tell us that ZeroAvia has been busy developing a hydrogen-electric power system based on fuel cell technology for the past two years. The US-based company said that hydrogen will lead through an electrolyzer to produce electricity to power jet engines. It is working on the conversion of a 19-seat Dornier 228 turboprop aircraft to utilize a hydrogen-electric powertrain right now.

“We chose the Dornier 228 because it is a reliable and conventional airframe that is already certified. In addition, it has a considerable amount of space inside and great flight characteristics, including short take-off and landing and single-engine performance,” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia’s CEO.

“Our R&D program is targeting the first flight of the Dornier 228 in hybrid configuration already over the next couple of months. The first twin hydrogen-electric engine flight will take place mid-2022.” Both companies also aim to retrofit hydrogen-powered systems into existing aircraft like ATR 72 and De Havilland Canada Dash 8.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ) will authorize hydrogen-electric powertrain technology for ZeroAvia while supporting it with its engineering services so that the engine of hydrogen-powered aircraft can certify to PART 33 of FAA regulations.

ZeroAvia - Local Jet Broker - Jet for Sale - Miami Jet - Miami FLHiro Yamamoto – President and CEO of MHIRJ – contemplates the regional hydrogen-powered plan as the key to keeping smaller communities and regions connected. “This is a logical place for this development to begin, and we are proud to be a part of this innovative solution,” he stated.

To us, the collaboration of ZeroAvia and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries RJ Aviation Group seems like a significant milestone not just for them but also for the aviation industry. We suggest visiting ZeroAvia’s official website for more information.

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