UK's CAA gives ZeroAvia CAA the green light for new hydrogen-electric test flights

Jan. 3, 2023
ZeroAvia gets permit to fly for retrofitted Dornier 228 from the Civil Aviation Authority, following successful groundtesting campaign.

KEMBLE, U.K. - The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted a permit to fly for ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 aircraft, which has been retrofitted with its prototype hydrogen-electric powertrain. ZeroAvia secured the permit to fly following a ground testing campaign and a review of the full development program.

The permit means that ZeroAvia, which is based in Hollister, Calif., can now begin the first test flights of its 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain. The 19-seat twin-engine aircraft has been retrofitted in an engineering testbed configuration to incorporate ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engine powering the propellor on its left wing, operating alongside a single Honeywell TPE-331 stock engine on the right for appropriate redundancy to allow the safe testing of the novel propulsion technology.

The test flights are set to be a achievement for ZeroAvia and the HyFlyer II project, a research and development program backed by the UK Government’s ATI Program, which targets the development of a 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain for 9-19 seat aircraft.

For this testing program, ZeroAvia has worked with the CAA in meeting a far more stringent set of requirements when compared to the E-Conditions framework ZeroAvia had used for its 6-seat prototype in 2020. Part 21 is an industry-standard term used to describe the regulatory approval of aircraft design and production organizations, and the certification of products, parts, and appliances for aircraft. Securing this permit to fly is a significant milestone in ZeroAvia’s path towards commercialization.

ZeroAvia says the permit paves the way for a commercially certifiable configuration for ZA600 to be submitted by the end of 2023, ahead of delivering powertrains for the first commercial routes for 9-19 seat aircraft to commence by 2025.

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