ZeroAvia is gaining altitude as the leader in zero-emission passenger aircraft as it announces a development collaboration with Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, for a hydrogen-electric powertrain capable of flying 76-seat regional aircraft in excess of 500 NM. Alaska is also joining the list of top investors for the company, alongside a fellow Seattle-based Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of public affairs and sustainability for Alaska Airlines, said: "Alaska is committed to creating a sustainable future for aviation, working on all aspects of a five-part path toward our goal of net zero by 2040. We are honored to partner with ZeroAvia's innovative and forward-thinking team, to support their progress developing zero-emissions aviation, and to collaborate for real-world hydrogen aviation success."
Alaska and ZeroAvia engineers will work together to scale the company's existing powertrain platform to produce the ZA2000, an engine family capable of producing between 2,000 and 5,000 kilowatts of power with a 500-mile range. The partnership will initially deploy ZeroAvia's hydrogen-electric propulsion technology into a full-size De Havilland Q400 aircraft, previously operated by Alaska Air Group subsidiary Horizon Air Industries, Inc., capable of transporting 76 passengers. ZeroAvia will also work closely with aircraft regulators during this project to ensure the aircraft meets both safety and operational requirements. ZeroAvia will set up a location in the Seattle area to support this initiative. For further information see the IDTechEx report on The Hydrogen Economy, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Production Methods.
Alaska has also secured options for up to 50 kits to begin converting its regional aircraft to hydrogen-electric power through ZeroAvia's zero-emission powertrain, starting with the Q400 aircraft. This pioneering zero-emission aviation rollout will be supported by the ground fuel production and dispensing infrastructure from ZeroAvia and its infrastructure partners, such as Shell. Working to advance novel propulsion is one of the five parts of Alaska's strategy to achieve net zero.
Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia, said: "The aviation industry is one of the hardest industries to decarbonize; however, with this collaboration, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of making our skies emission-free. We are thrilled to see Alaska taking the lead to implement clean technologies into their operations and look forward to putting boots on the ground with Alaska's team."
Recently, ZeroAvia also successfully ground-tested its 600kW powertrain capable of flying airframes 10-20 seats in size 500 miles, is well advanced in preparing a 19-seat aircraft for flight testing at Cotswold Airport in the UK and is moving to full-size prototype manufacturing of its 2,000 kW engine for demonstrations in 2022.
Source and top image: ZeroAvia