Airbus and CFM: Flying on Hydrogen Power by 2035

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Airbus and engine maker CFM International have signed a partnership agreement on a hydrogen demonstration program that could see commercial flights by 2035.  CFM is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The team announced its intentions in an hour-long introduction on February 22, with members from the companies explaining the goals of the project.  A view of what they intend to do with Airbus 380 serial number one gives a view inside the cavernous craft. As pointed out in a Green Car Congress article, the main objective is to develop and flight test a direct combustion engine fueled by liquid hydrogen. The Biggest Test Bed ZeroAvia seeks to get a 20-passenger liner in flight by 2024 …

ZeroAvia Comes to the Pacific Northwest

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In the Everett (Washington) Herald Janice Podsada reports, “ZeroAvia, which currently has offices in London and in Hollister, California, plans to invest $5.5 million to ready an Everett site for a team of 20 design and software engineers.”  This will be a new entry in Snohomish County, a location already supporting over 500 aerospace companies. Everett, site for Boeing Aircraft’s huge production facility, is also home to MagniX, poised to power aircraft such as Eviation’s Alice, currently preparing for test flights in Arlington, about 18 miles north.  ZeroAvia will accept, “A $350,000 grant to convert a warehouse at the Snohomish County-owned airport into a research-and-development facility.” Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia’s founder, explained the importance of the state’s Department of Commerce grant. “Given …

MIT Makes Hydrogen from Scrap Aluminum and Water

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Three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers may be on the track of producing hydrogen from a reaction between aluminum (the scrappier the better) and water.  Their “simple way” of generating H2 from aluminum and water can take place anywhere, according to the researchers. Since groups like ZeroAvia and Pipistrel with the DLR (German Space Agency) and HY4 are working toward at least intermediate-range hydrogen-powered flight, an inexpensive way to produce the gas would be a blessing.  Current methods of producing H2 from fossil-fuel-related materials can be more detrimental to the environment than the promise hydrogen would otherwise bring, however. Corroding but Not Rusting Dr. Laureen Meroueh along with Professor Douglas Hart and Professor Thomas Eager at MIT have found …

ZeroAvia Tests 600 kW Motor, Receives Honors

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Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, introduces tests of the company’s 600 kilowatt powertrain, mounted high atop their new mobile test bed.  In recent months, the company has achieved some solid recognition. “In July, 2021, ZeroAvia has successfully tested high-power operation of its flight-intent ZA-600 (600kW) powertrain. The testing has been done on the brand new HyperTruck mobile ground testing platform ZeroAvia has developed based on a heavy-duty M977 HEMTT military truck. The HyperTruck platform is designed to be able to test not only the current 600 kilowatt system for 10-20 seat applications, but also the 2 Megawatt system currently in design phase, targeting 50-80 seat aircraft. The latest series of tests signifies a critical milestone before flight application …

Going Big and Bigger with Hydrogen

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Two companies promoting hydrogen power for aircraft are upsizing their aspirations, with aircraft  hauling four to up to 40 passengers.  Both have ambitious timelines. ZeroAvia, operating in Hollister, California and Cirencester, England has been flying a Piper Malibu demonstrator, but anticipates flying a 10 to 20 passenger Dornier by 2024.  It would expand that to a 50-passenger craft by 2026.  H2Fly in Germany has been flying their Pipistrel-designed HY4 for several years and through six generations. The firm looks forward to taking incremental steps toward a 40-passenger regional airliner by 2030. ZeroAvia ZeroAvia reports on troubling trends in aviation’s contribution to greenhouse gases, but follows with a possible solution.  According to their web site, aviation accounts for over 12 percent …

Spark Solo Gets ZeroAvia Sponsorship

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Mike Friend, retired Technology Director for Boeing Aircraft, and Gabriel DeVault, head of drivetrain development for ZeroAvia, are putting a Zero motorcycle motor into Mike’s Spark Solo.  There are perhaps dozens of Zero motors flying today, and the 42-pound unit has evolved to powering even two-seat motorgliders like Gabriel’s Sonex Xenos. An Ambitious Project Mike came up with the Spark Solo design as a way to, “Encompass the design process” as well as the “piloting and fabricating” aspects of a project.  He wanted to, “Define an airplane uniquely designed around electric propulsion,” noting that, “Past efforts have almost always been adaptations of internal-combustion powered airplanes.”  To help forward his design, Mike has been working with his local EAA chapter, for …

ZeroAvia’s Malibu in Off-Airport Incident

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We share this press release from ZeroAvia to allay any rumors or misinterpretations as to what happened May 1 on a test flight of ZeroAvia’s Piper Malibu.  The aircraft was damaged in an off-airport landing, but everyone on board managed to exit the craft safely and carried out safety protocols.  The incident will doubtless be thoroughly investigated by ZeroAvia’s team and by the United Kingdom’s own Civil Aviation Authority. ​ZeroAvia Off-Airport Landing Review 1 May, 2021, 08:00 BST On April 29th, 2021, ZeroAvia’s R&D aircraft made an off-airport landing just outside Cranfield airport perimeter during a routine pattern test flight (logged as ZeroAvia Test 86, and the 6th flight in this flight testing segment). The aircraft landed normally on its …

ZeroAvia Gains Backing at High Levels

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“Cannot be more proud and humbled to be a part of this stellar team!”  That’s power system developer Gabriel DeVault’s response to ZeroAvia’s Chief Financial Officer Katya Akulinicheva’s enthusiastic endorsement of Bloomberg LP’s news.  She listed the investors taking an active interest in ZeroAvia, including Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Horizons Ventures, Shell Ventures and Summa Equity. Already benefiting from a $16.3 million grant from Innovate UK, Aerospace Technology Institute and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), ZeroAvia will be able to push forward on plans to create a 19-seat hydrogen-powered commuter liner. According to Bloomberg, “ZeroAvia aims to demonstrate that it can fly a plane 500 miles (804 kilometers) with as …

ZeroAvia First Out of the Gate with Hydrogen Flight

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An Historic Hydrogen Outing While Airbus and MagniX promote the near- and not-so-near virtues of hydrogen-powered flight, ZeroAvia has demonstrated such flight with the largest H2-powered aircraft so far.  Their Cranfield, England-based Piper Malibu flew on H2 power for the first time September 24 on an eight-minute circuit.  The blue Malibu reached 1,000 feet and a top speed of 100 knots true air speed. Quick to capitalize on the successful mission, , ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov held a press conference the next day.  In it, he explained his team,“has had discussions with seven aircraft manufacturers about possible retrofit and new-build applications for the propulsion system. He said the company has signed letters of intent with 10 airlines that …

Hydrogen Malibu’s on Two Continents

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Tuesday, June 23, ZeroAvia flew a hydrogen-powered Piper Malibu from Cranfield Airport in England., eight time zones from ZeroAvia’s home base in Hollister, California. Flown by Andrew Dixon, that and a subsequent flight gained extra publicity for “a James Bond stunt pilot*” helming the first electric aircraft capable of carrying passengers from a United Kingdom airport.  Dixon reported that the battery-powered Piper Malibu needed 10 per cent less distance for take-off and climbed faster than normal. The Airplane Was the Real Star Reflecting the high-flying status of the test pilot, the airplane, part of a government-funded “HyFlyer” project, flew two missions on two days of 15 and 25 minutes each.  Its two automotive-based batteries easily carried the six-passenger aircraft on …