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Aviation pioneer Universal Hydrogen exits the market

Universal Hydrogen, a pioneer of hydrogen aviation, has been wound up.

“Despite everyone’s best efforts, UH2 proved unable to secure additional funding to move forward,” said Jon Gordon, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of Universal Hydrogen in a Linkedin post. “Perhaps we were just too early. Perhaps we couldn’t convince the world that hydrogen, and not just SAF, are necessary for the future of aviation. Time will tell.

“Nonetheless, I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved, and grateful to the 100s of engineers, and investors, that supported our efforts. It was nothing short of heroic. We demonstrated the feasibility of hydrogen aviation at a commercially significant scale, with 13 successful flights. We obtained Phase 1 certification from the FAA, and garnered interest from 17 airlines across 12 countries. We did this together.”

According to a report in the Seattle Times:

“The company was one of a few aiming to replace fossil-fuel powered flight with more sustainable, emissions-free technology, in this case using hydrogen to power the engines instead of jet fuel.

Its achievement of a first flight at Moses Lake was celebrated by Gov. Jay Inslee as one of Washington state’s clean energy breakthroughs.

“In March, Fast Company magazine put Universal on its list of “Most innovative companies of 2024.” Last month, trade magazine Aviation Week reported that “behind the scenes, the zero-emissions startup is busy preparing to take propulsion-system testing to the next level” and was prepping 10 new flight tests.

“But in a letter to shareholders Thursday, Universal Hydrogen Chairman and CEO Mark Cousin wrote that the board has formally decided to wind up the company after efforts to raise further financing from new investors failed.”

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