ZeroAvia today announced the completion of its initial prototype ZA600 flight testing campaign at Cotswold Airport in the UK. The 10th flight in the initial series was completed last week the company said, including a cruise test to establish projections for future ranges using the system, thus teeing up the first cross-country flights as the next stage of testing and demonstration.
Over the course of the last six months, ZeroAvia says it has sequentially tested different areas of performance following the breakthrough, first flight of the system in January. According to the press release “The campaign has seen the aircraft fly at 5,000 feet, perform an endurance test at 23 minutes, operate in the wide temperature range from just above freezing to almost 30C, and reach the maximum allowable speed under the Permit to Fly issued by the CAA.
“Critically, throughout all phases of testing, the fuel cell power generation and electric propulsion system that are the core components of the novel zero-emission engine, performed at or above expectations. The hydrogen-electric engine has matched the power of the conventional, fossil fuel engine on the opposite wing, with the pilots able to fly with thrust generated only from the experimental clean propulsion system in certain tests.
“ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 flight testing programme is part of the HyFlyer II Project, which is part funded by the UK Government via the Aerospace Technology Institute, in conjunction with Innovate UK and the Department for Business and Trade.
“Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers. The only emission is low temperature water, with studies finding above 90 per cent total climate effect reduction.”
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