ZeroAvia has made a leap forward in plans to deliver hydrogen-electric engines for regional jets, thanks to an expanded agreement with MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ). As part of the collaboration, MHIRJ will provide engineering services, aircraft integration, and its OEM experience to support the certification of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain for retrofit onto airframes in the regional jet markets.

Zero-emission solutions

ZeroAvia, a leader in developing zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation, is already well advanced in plans to certify its ZA600, 600kW powertrain for smaller, 10-20 seat aircraft, with entry into service planned for 2024.

But the company is also working on ZA2000, a 2-5MW modular powertrain which targets support for 40-80 seat turboprops by 2026. The ZA2000RJ powertrain will expand this technology to enable passengers to fly in zero-emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s.

CRJ Series aircraft

The latest agreement places the CRJ Series aircraft as a frontrunner for the earliest operations using true zero-emission engines, ZeroAvia said. Over 2,000 CRJ Series aircraft have been built since the launch of the programme.

This expanded agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties at the end of last year.

‘Giant step forward’

Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos where he has been discussing the pathway to sustainable aviation, 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.”

The agreement is the first for MHIRJ’s Aerospace Engineering Centre (AEC) in the hydrogen propulsion field.

‘Innovative, sustainable technology’

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.”
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