$ 13 million
ZeroAvia has secured two 19-seater Dornier 228 twin-engine aircraft for the next phase of its research and development of clean hydrogen and electric aviation. (Previous article.) One Dornier is in the UK, the other in the US, supplied by Alderney and AMC Aviation respectively. Both planes were previously in service for regional flights in the US and UK, demonstrating the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions on existing routes.
Prototype ZeroAvia 19 seats
ZeroAvia’s 19-seat R&D is part of HyFlyer II, the second ZeroAvia-led UK government-backed project to target the development of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
As part of HyFlyer I, ZeroAvia successfully demonstrated a 250 kW powertrain in a 6-seater aircraft during three flight test campaigns, meeting all technical objectives of the project, including cruising flight at fuel cell only. All lessons learned from HyFlyer I will be fully utilized in the development of a 600kW 19-seat powertrain in HyFlyer II.
ZeroAvia also secured an additional $ 13 million for its 50-seat engine development program from AP Ventures, a major investor in advanced technologies along the hydrogen value chain; Alumni business group; SGH Capital; Agartha SEC Fund; and existing investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Summa Equity, Shell Ventures, SYSTEMIQ and Horizons Ventures.
This new funding complements the initial investment of $ 24 million announced by the company a few weeks ago, bringing the total private investment in the development of large ZeroAvia engines for planes over 50 seats to $ 37 million.
For the 19-seater aircraft, two 600 kW units of the company’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will replace the aircraft’s twin engines, as well as hydrogen tanks eventually containing 100 kg of compressed gaseous hydrogen to take support the 500-mile range of commercial offering in 2024.
Additionally, ZeroAvia advances software, hardware, mechanical integration and fuel cell balance to certifiable status. The 6-ton aircraft will have a range of 500 nautical miles.
ZeroAvia’s new 30,000 square foot Kemble facility will serve as a dedicated base for the development of ZeroAvia’s 600 kW engine class and marks a significant investment and expansion of its UK-based R&D program. The company’s site in Hollister, Calif., Will help the British team with the tests and will be responsible for building the second demonstration aircraft for the technology to commercialize in North America.
The company currently employs around 50 people, and will grow to more than 100 over the next 12 months in the US and UK.