Stratus 9 (S9), an innovator in private aviation and fractional ownership, has announced plans to acquire 10 (with options for up to 15) of Cranfield Aerospace Solutions’ (CAeS) hydrogen propulsion conversion kits for the B-N Islander aircraft.

The deal, valued at over $20m, paves the way for the first zero-emissions fractional ownership programme in the United States.

Stratus 9 is simplifying co-ownership of airplanes, radically improving the efficiency and sustainable use of aircraft and transforming the way aircraft are purchased, financed, and owned.

“Part of our core vision at Stratus 9 is to fly clean. To do that, we need to decarbonise aviation in a way that is technically and economically viable, which is why we started by fractionalising existing aircraft that are underutilized while making private jet ownership more accessible. Understanding that true change demands bold moves, we are also investing in the future—scaling and advancing groundbreaking technologies like CAeS’s hydrogen fuel propulsion is critical to achieving a cleaner, bluer sky,” said Zeeshan Moha, Co-CEO of Stratus 9.

Scheduled for commercial certification in 2026, the CAeS hydrogen-fuel cell propulsion system will be integrated into the Islander aircraft via a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), resulting in a zero-carbon emissions aircraft providing eco-friendly and efficient regional travel.

S9 is positioned to become the primary launch partner in the US consumer market by 2027, and marks CAeS’ entry into the US market.

CAeS has already secured over 100 provisional orders from operators across the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and is set to achieve first flight of the technology later this year.

The collaboration with S9 soars beyond aircraft procurement, with both companies collaborating closely on infrastructure development, training programs, and defining aircraft modeling specifications for entry and FAA certification in the US.

S9’s aspiration is to be the inaugural zero-emissions fractional ownership programme in the US; under this partnership, clients of S9 can own or co-own one of the world’s first zero-emissions aircraft—the hydrogen-powered Islander—underscoring S9’s commitment to providing sustainable aviation solutions to the consumer market.

CAeS CEO Paul Hutton said: “Our collaboration with Stratus 9 is a testament to the global recognition of CAeS’s hydrogen-propulsion technology as a transformative force in the aviation industry. We are excited to welcome Stratus 9 as our first customer for the hydrogen-powered Islander in the US, marking a significant milestone in our pursuit of sustainable flight.

“Together, we aim to redefine aviation standards, not just in aircraft systems design but also in fostering a greener future. This partnership reinforces our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that shape the next generation of aviation.”
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter