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Hydrogen-powered aviation company ZeroAvia secures support from major groups

18th September 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Zero emission aviation company ZeroAvia announced on Monday that its latest funding round has been led by major international groups, namely Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus, UK-based multinational banking group Barclays (specifically, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital), and Saudi Arabian green city development company NEOM. Other groups which participated in the financing round were (in alphabetical order) Alaska Airlines, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Horizons Ventures, and Summa Equity.

“Anybody following the development of hydrogen aviation – and its potential to transform the industry – will see this investment as a positive step,” affirmed ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov.

This latest investment round will allow ZeroAvia to accelerate the certification, and entry into production, of its first powertrain, the ZA600, which is for use with 9-seat to 20-seat aircraft, and is aimed for entry into service in 2025. The first flight test campaign of the ZA600 was recently and successfully concluded.

ZeroAvia’s aircraft power systems, or powertrains (usually called engines, for convenience), comprise hydrogen fuel cell stacks generating electricity which powers electric motors, which turn the aircraft’s propellors. (The company is currently also developing the ZA2000, to power 40-seat to 80-seat aircraft, and aimed at entering service by 2027.)

Further, ZeroAvia and Airbus have agreed to work together on how to approach the certification of hydrogen power systems. The two enterprises also plan to collaborate in a range of technical areas, critical to the implementation of hydrogen-powered aviation. These include the ground and flight testing of fuel cell propulsion systems, the storage of liquid hydrogen fuel, and the creation of the infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling and operations. 

“Airbus has led the way with its zero-emission vision and its commitment to extensive [research and development] programmes,” highlighted Miftakhov. “For ZeroAvia to now have investors such as Airbus coming on board is the strongest possible validation of the prospects for hydrogen-electric propulsion technology.”

“ZeroAvia has already been successful in flight testing fuel cell propulsion, and hydrogen storage and distribution systems on board their [Dornier] Do-228 flight test platform which puts them in a strong position to take their technologies to the next phase of development,” pointed out Airbus VP ZEROe Aircraft Glenn Llewellyn. “In addition, ZeroAvia is supporting the development of a wider hydrogen ecosystem for aviation – technologies, decarbonised hydrogen supply and certification of hydrogen propulsion systems – which all complement well with our own ambition to bring a ZEROe hydrogen powered aircraft to service by 2035.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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