LONDON – ZeroAvia has struck an agreement with Japanese-owned MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ) for the development of new hydrogen-electric engines for regional jets.
ZeroAvia is a U.S based firm specializing in manufacturing electric powertrains for airplanes.
As part of the groundbreaking agreement, MHIRJ, being an MRO expert will provide engineering services, aircraft integration, and its industry-renowned OEM experience to support the certification and the transition of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain for retrofit onto airframes in the existing regional jet markets.
ZeroAvia is well renowned for its ambitions to transform the existing aviation industry from a petrol-reliant industry into greener technologies.
The company is working with aircraft operators, owners, and OEMs to supply the world with breakthrough zero-emission engines and the infrastructure and fuel to power a revolution in green flight
Moreover, this agreement places the CRJ Series aircraft (owned by MHIRJ) as one of the first testbeds for using zero-emission powertrains developed by ZeroAvia.
The CRJ aircraft are flying across North America and are the backbone of regional aviation on the continent. There are over 2000 of these aircraft being built ever since their introduction.
At the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia said: “There are hundreds of CRJ Series aircraft in daily operation across North America, transporting millions of passengers. All these flights can and should be zero-emission well before the end of this decade.”
“This agreement is a giant step forward in delivering hydrogen-electric engines to the regional jet segment.”
Hiro Yamamoto, President, and CEO of MHIRJ said: “We are very excited about this agreement with ZeroAvia as it furthers two important goals for MHIRJ.”
“The first is to continue to grow our AEC business through working with other companies and using our vast engineering expertise to advance this state-of-the-art project.”
“The second benefit is that we are part of the value chain in bringing innovative sustainable technology into the regional space.”
The project is well underway as ZeroAvia is preparing to certify its ZA600,600kW engines for smaller, 10-20 seat aircraft by 2024.
In the meantime, the U.S based tech company is working on ZA2000, a 2-5MW modular powertrain that is compatible with larger turboprops accommodating 40-80 seats, which aims to be delivered by 2026.
Lastly, The ZA2000RJ powertrain will allow regional jets like the CRJ to fly in zero-emission towards the end of this decade.
These are the timeline presented by ZeroAvia to electrify aircraft:
- 10–20 seats
- 300 NM range
- First commercial offering
- 40–80 seats
- 1,000 NM range
- 100–200 seats
- 2,000 NM range
- 200 seats
- 3,000 NM range
- 200+ seats
- 5,000 NM range
Importantly, this deal with MHRIJ is not the first of many major deals made by ZeroAvia, in fact, major airlines like Alaska Air Group and United Airlines contributed financially and strategically to ZeroAvia in the development of its ZA2000 powertrain, the largest product lineup of the firm.