ZeroAvia announced today that it has started preparing a second Dornier 228 aircraft to serve as a testbed for the hydrogen-electric propulsion system. The 19-seat aircraft is at the company’s headquarters in Hollister, California, where it is being fitted with the ZA600 powertrain developed by ZeroAvia's UK-based team under the government-funded HyFlyer II project.
According to the company, it could take another three or four months to prepare the Do-228 to begin test flights. ZeroAvia, which is aiming to complete FAA certification for the 600-kW powertrain in 2024, said the system will power aircraft with between 10 and 20 seats operating on routes of up to around 500 miles.
The Do-228 is being converted so that one of its two turboprop engines will operate in tandem with the ZA600 powertrain. Meanwhile, ZeroAvia is lining up partners with which it will test the viability of a variety of passenger, cargo, and industrial applications for the aircraft.
“This new project in California will allow us to use the architectures from our HyFlyer II initiative, where we are working with the same aircraft, and apply those lessons as we further test and demonstrate the system across a number of different use cases,” said ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. “Ultimately, this will help us optimize our zero-emission powertrain design ahead of certification.”
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