EMEC to fuel ZeroAvia's 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft ambition

04 January 2021 - Published by Stig Marthinsen

Periscope partner the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has strengthened its partnership with ZeroAvia through the launch of the HyFlyer II project. EMEC will supply green hydrogen for the 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft development programme, to help make zero-emission flights a commercial reality.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK, the HyFlyer II project will see ZeroAvia develop the first certifiable hydrogen-electric powertrain that can power airframes carrying up to 19 passengers. To do this, ZeroAvia is collaborating with two partners, EMEC and Aeristech.

Within the £12.3 million funded project, EMEC will deliver the green hydrogen fuelling systems required to power the aircraft for flight tests, including its mobile fuelling platform designed to suit an airport environment. Periscope partner EMEC generates green hydrogen from its wave and tidal installations.
Aeristech, a leading developer of power dense and efficient air compressor solutions, will work with ZeroAvia to integrate its advanced air compressor system as part of the new 19-seat powertrain.

The grant award follows on from the first HyFlyer project which saw the world’s first flight of a commercial-grade hydrogen-electric aircraft at Cranfield in September, utilising a smaller version of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in a 6-seat Piper Malibu M350.

HyFlyer II will build on this success by bringing to market the first hydrogen-electric powertrain suitable for aircraft of up to 19-seats. The project will conclude with another world-first hydrogen-electric flight this time in a 19-seat aircraft with a 350 mile flight in early 2023.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC comments:

“We’re thrilled to be supporting the HyFlyer II project. This is an important milestone for UK aerospace, which will exploit EMEC’s world-leading hydrogen activities. As well as providing green hydrogen to demonstrate zero carbon aviation, EMEC will develop a hydrogen refuelling solution capable of dispensing volumes approaching the speed of commercial aviation. This will be a major step forward for the sector.”


Image: Colin Keldie, courtesy of EMEC