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.
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.
Hiro 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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