Aviation Startup ZeroAvia Flies Largest-Ever Hydrogen Electric Aircraft

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An aviation start-up just set a new world-first for the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft flight in history—a 19-seat aircraft called the Dornier 228.

Designed by ZeroAvia, the start-up is developing hydrogen-powered engines for regional flights, and over the last 12 months has really taken off.

This most recent flight was a 10 minute affair from the Cotswolds Airport in Gloucestershire, England, but was only the most recent manifestation of their success.

ZeroAvia counts American and United airlines as their investors, and by 2025, the firm has 1,500 pre-orders of their hydrogen electric powertrains to fulfill. The prototype powertrains have received approval from both the UK and US civil aviation authorities.

“This is a major moment, not just for ZeroAvia, but for the aviation industry as a whole, as it shows that true zero-emission commercial flight is only a few years away,” ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov said in a statement Thursday.

The flight comes after news in August that the company signed a memorandum of understanding with American Airlines for 100 of the powertrains, which are being developed for 90-seat aircraft.

“Having support from [one of the] world’s largest airline is a strong indication of the progress we’re making on the development of hydrogen-electric, zero-emission flight,” added ZeroAvia Founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. “We are focused on delivering sustainable travel, and are delighted that American, a visionary leader in the industry, sees ZeroAvia as a part of the future of aviation.”

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