ZeroAvia, a California-based zero emission aviation manufacturer, has received a £2.7m ($3.3m) grant from the UK Government to support the development of a principle technology to enable practical, zero emission aviation in commercial aircraft.
The HyFlyer project is a key step to ZeroAvia’s journey towards supplying commercial operators and aircraft manufacturers with hydrogen-powered, zero emissions planes by 2022.
The grant is part of the ATI programme, supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK and will fund ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer project to demonstrate technology readiness for a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
The Government’s grant has been matched by Project Hyflyer participants, making the scope of the project in excess of £5m ($6.2m).
“This exciting project, delivered with £2.7m of Government support, further strengthens the UK’s reputation as a global leader in aviation innovation,” said Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
“We are leading the world in tackling climate change, going further and faster by becoming the first major economy to pass new laws for net zero emissions by 2050. The development of a practical alternative to fossil fuels within aviation has the potential to revolutionise domestic travel not just in the UK, but globally.”
ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer project links closely to the five foundations of the UK Government’s wider industrial strategy.
The project will culminate in a UK-based 250-300 nautical mile flight on a Piper M-class six-seater aircraft, which is a zero emission combination of range and payload uniquely by ZeroAvia’s hydrogen powertrain.
“The substantial backing provided by the UK Government underlines the potential that hydrogen holds as a fuel source for commercial aviation and provides significant validation of ZeroAvia’s approach to zero emission flight,” said Val Miftahov, ZeroAvia’s Founder and CEO.
“Our project goal of 300 NM is equivalent to the distance from London to Edinburgh and will prove that zero emission aviation, powered by hydrogen, can play a key role within the UK and other countries’ transport strategies – enabling net zero targets to be met and improving productivity and regional prosperity.”
To launch the HyFlyer project, ZeroAvia will open UK operations in Cranfield where it will build links to the UK’s expertise in aerospace and clean technologies.
As part of the project, ZeroAvia is partnering with four UK-based companies:
- The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) which will investigate the infrastructure needed to fuel the aircraft with green hydrogen.
- Intelligent Energy which will collaborate with ZeroAvia which will collaborate with ZeroAvia on the optimisation of its evaporative cooling fuel cell technology for aviation.
- Cranfield Aerospace Solution (CAeS) which will assist with integrating ZeroAvia’s powertrain into the Piper airframe and host the team.
- Cranfield University, one of the leading aerospace universities, to benefit from its aerospace and powertrain legacy.
Alongside these partners, ZeroAvia will also work with advisory and investment firm SYSTEMIQ to accelerate business development and aid European expansion.