After launching the development of its 600 kW hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in 19-seat aircraft late last year (earlier post), ZeroAvia has achieved its first major milestone for the HyFlyer II program. The ground test involved ZeroAvia’s flight-intent 600 kW powertrain (ZA-600), pulling ZeroAvia’s new 15-ton HyperTruck mobile ground testing platform across the tarmac

The HyperTruck, developed based on a heavy-duty M977 HEMTT military truck, is sized for the company’s ZA-2000 2MW+ powertrain, which can be used to test systems for 40-80 seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft.

The ground tests of the 600 kW propulsion system support the on-track development of the company’s HyFlyer II program, which will deliver a hydrogen-electric, zero-emission propulsion system for airframes 10-20 seats in size.

These tests are important steps in reaching our next major goal of flight testing in our 19-seat aircraft in both the US and UK Do228-based prototypes.

—Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAviaThis is ZeroAvia’s first high-power run of the ZA-600, kicking off its test program for the flight-intent hardware to prepare the system for flight. The first milestone test-flights of HyFlyer II’s Dornier 228 aircraft testbed are expected to take place later this year from ZeroAvia’s UK facility in Kemble.

The Hollister testing is a significant milestone for our new HyperTruck testbed and ZA-600 that also confirms the operation of our next-generation control system and software. Our US team is excited to support the important work of our colleagues in the UK and ultimately scaling up our proven hydrogen fuel cell integration for larger commercial aircraft engines, which the HyperTruck supports.

—Gabe DeVault, the company’s Head of Testing and Applications

In June 2021, the company announced the procurement of two Dornier 228 aircraft for the next phase of its 19-seat program, building off the success of the 250kW powerplant in a 6-seat aircraft across three flight test campaigns. In March 2021, ZeroAvia launched the development program for a 2MW hydrogen-electric powertrain for full-size regional aircraft.

ZeroAvia completed its first commercial-scale hydrogen-electric-powered flight in September 2020.

ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov also was recently selected to become a member of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) Board of Directors. The organization is a top fuel cell industry association that strives to promote the environmental and economic benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies.