HOLLISTER, Calif., - ZeroAvia, a provider of hydrogen-electric solutions for aviation based in Hollister, Calif., , announced it was collaborating with Otto Aviation, LLC, in Yorba Linda, Calif., to develop a hydrogen-electric powertrain to power Otto’s Celera aircraft.
Under the agreement, Otto and ZeroAvia will work to integrate ZeroAvia’s ZA600 zero-emission engines to Otto’s Celera aircraft. The collaboration has the potential to make the Celera the first new airframe design to leverage zero-emission propulsion in its launch models. The Celera is scalable up to 19 passengers.
Otto’s aircraft design offers low drag across the entire aircraft. The design of the Celera fuselage, empennage and wings take advantage of laminar flow. Laminar flow is the minimum drag solution for aircraft surfaces and features smooth layers of airflow with little to no mixing of adjacent layers. When coupled with fuel-efficient propulsion systems, the Celera will reduce operating costs and increase range relative to comparable aircraft, while creating optimal passenger comfort and cargo capacity.
When powered by ZeroAvia’s powertrain, the Celera will offer long range zero-emission flights, while further reducing operating costs, thanks to reduced maintenance costs and falling hydrogen-fuel prices. The Celera design is conducive to accommodate large volumes of hydrogen within the fuselage that will enable 1,000 nautical miles of range.
"The majority of our commercial deals to date have focused on retrofit and line-fit for existing airframes, which is essential to deliver zero-emission flight to market as quickly as possible," Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia Founder & CEO, said. "However, efficiency gains from new airframe design can expand the impact of zero-emission aviation. We are pleased to collaborate with innovators, like Otto Aviation, bringing cutting-edge clean sheet designs to market as we can optimize the hydrogen-electric propulsion system for those designs."
The development of this 600kW powertrain is part of Project HyFlyer II aims to deliver a fully certified powertrain for aircraft of up to 19-seats by 2024. HyFlyer II is supported by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS), Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), and Innovate UK through the ATI Programme. After having flown multiple 6-seat R&D prototypes, ZeroAvia is preparing its first 19-seat prototype for its inaugural flight in the coming weeks. The company is also retrofitting a second Dornier-228 testbed in Hollister, California, to conduct further flight testing.