As it continues development on hydrogen fuel cell technology in the U.K., ZeroAvia says it has secured investment for a large engine project, a smaller version of which the company says could be commercialized as soon as 2024. According to the company, the proposed powertrain would have a 2-megawatt capacity or roughly 2600 horsepower. The system would rely on hydrogen fuel cells to deliver power to electric motors for thrust generation.
Heretofore, ZeroAvia has relied on venture capital and a grant from the U.K. government to fund the developmental work underway at its Cranfield, U.K., research facility. A proof-of-concept version of the technology has flown in a Piper M-class aircraft. For its newest round of investment, $24.3 million has been committed, including a contribution from British Airways.
ZeroAvia says it expects to initially provide aircraft capable of 500-mile trips with 10 to 20 seats. Such aircraft would be suitable for passenger, cargo and agricultural work, according to the company. ZeroAvia wants to enter the 50-seat commercial market as soon as 2026. In addition to its prime powerplant research, ZeroAvia is also developing hydrogen infrastructure systems.