In January 2023, ZeroAvia made aviation history by flying the world’s largest aircraft powered by a hydrogen-electric engine. The 19-seat Dornier 228 twin-engine aircraft took to the sky for its first flight as part of the HyFlyer II project, marking a major step towards zero-emission flight and a major success for the UK Government‘s Jet Zero Strategy.
The landmark flight took place at ZeroAvia’s R&D facility in Kemble, UK, and lasted 10 minutes. The hydrogen-electric engine on the left wing operated alongside a single stock engine on the right, and all systems performed as expected. This flight test campaign was conducted under a full flight permit with the UK Aviation Authority, which is a more stringent set of requirements than the framework used for ZeroAvia’s prior 6-seat prototype test flights.
With this successful flight, ZeroAvia is on its way to delivering commercial routes using hydrogen fuel cell power by 2025. The Dornier 228 will continue to undergo a series of test flights from Kemble and later demonstration flights from other airports. ZeroAvia’s 2-5 MW powertrain program is already underway, scaling the clean engine technology for larger aircraft up to 90 seats.
Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia Founder & CEO, celebrated the progress and said, “This is a major moment for the aviation industry as a whole, showing that true zero-emission commercial flight is only a few years away. The first flight of our 19-seat aircraft highlights the rapid progress of zero-emission propulsion and the scalability of our technology. Congratulations to everyone on our team and all of our partners and stakeholders for this monumental day in history.”