ZeroAvia has secured a Part 21 permit to fly for retrofitted Dornier 228 from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with test flights of a 19-seat testbed due to begin in early 2023.
The permit was granted following an extensive ground testing campaign and a rigorous review of the full development program. 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.
According to ZeroAvia, the test flights are set to be a landmark achievement for the company and the HyFlyer II project, an R&D program backed by the UK Government’s ATI Programme, which targets the development of a 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain for 9-19 seat aircraft. For the testing program, ZeroAvia worked with the CAA in what was said to be a far more stringent set of requirements when compared to the E-Conditions framework ZeroAvia had used for its 6-seat prototype in 2020.
Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia, Founder & CEO, said: “Earning our full Part 21 permit to fly with the CAA is a critical milestone as we develop a zero-emission aviation propulsion system that will be the most environmental and economical solution to the industry’s climate impact. We’re going to be starting 2023 in the best way possible, by demonstrating through flight that true zero-emission commercial flight is much closer than many think.”
ZeroAvia believes this will pave 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. When test flights begin in January, ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 testbed is expected to become the largest aircraft to ever fly using a hydrogen-electric powertrain.