First zero emission hydrogen-electric commercial flight expected in 2024

Hydrogen fuel cells to power electric motors as viable way to tackle climate change, company says

The first zero emission hydrogen-electric commercial flight is expected to take off in 2024, the company building the jet said Wednesday.

The aircraft, currently under development by ZeroAvia, will fly entirely on hydrogen, the British-American hydrogen-electric aircraft developer said in a statement.

ZeroAvia said project partners include Royal Schiphol Group, Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport Foundation and the airport.

Flights are planned between Rotterdam The Hague Airport and London on a 19-seater aircraft.

“The deal sets a solid timeline for the launch of the first zero emission commercial passenger flights between the UK and the Netherlands, and potentially the first international commercial operation in the world,”the statement said.

ZeroAvia said it will collaborate with Royal Schiphol Group on testing and demonstrating hydrogen supply chain refueling operations and integration with airport operations.

The two companies will also focus on ensuring the pathway for commercially adopting hydrogen-electric aviation, including establishing the right regulatory framework and understanding industry and public appetite for zero emissions flights powered by hydrogen, it said.

ZeroAvia said it focused research and development on a hydrogen-electric powertrain, which uses hydrogen fuel cells to power electric motors as a viable way to tackle aviation’s climate change impacts at scale.

The only emission is water vapor at manageable temperatures, allowing for sustainable flights, it said.

Hydrogen-electric propulsion will have the additional benefit of lower operating costs, making routes more attractive to airlines and airports and passengers, it added.


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