KEMBLE, United Kingdom and HOLLISTER, Calif. and MONTREAL, Oct. 25, 2021 /CNW/ -- MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ), the world's largest CRJ Series Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul company and ZeroAvia, a leading innovator in hydrogen-electric propulsion for aviation, announced today that they have signed an agreement to cooperate in developing hydrogen-electric propulsion for regional jet applications. The collaboration with MHIRJ will leverage ZeroAvia's hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology and MHIRJ's aircraft design, certification and support experience to create aircraft solutions, which not only have the potential to deliver new aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion, but also to efficiently retrofit existing aircraft in the market. According to the MOU, MHIRJ will be supporting ZeroAvia by providing engineering services in support of the certification of the engines to PART 33 for aircraft, as well as assisting ZeroAvia by providing advisory services evaluating the feasibility of a green retrofit program for regional aircraft.
This marks a crucial step in ZeroAvia's progress and entry into a wider market. A recognized leader in zero emission aircraft propulsion, focused on hydrogen-electric power, the company has completed more than 35 test flights of a Piper M-class six-seat aircraft using its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Currently, it is working to convert a larger 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft with its zero-emission powertrain with a first test flight expected in the coming months. ZeroAvia plans certification and market entry for its 19-seat powertrain by 2024, with an eye towards larger aircraft (50-80 seats) by 2026, and regional jets around 2028.
"Developing aviation solutions for the future requires a re-assessment of their environmental impact and developing new technologies to ensure that aviation lives up to the commitments required to meet carbon reduction targets. At MHIRJ we are working with propulsion innovators to ensure that we are at the forefront of such developments and can design solutions to move the world forward," said Hiro Yamamoto, President and CEO of MHIRJ. "Regional aircraft are key to keeping smaller communities and regions connected and are also more able to exploit the new technologies on the horizon than larger aircraft and, therefore this is a logical place for this development to begin and we are proud to be a part of this innovative solution."
Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia added: "We believe that in the future almost every aircraft in the world will be powered by hydrogen-electric engines, simply because it is the most viable and scalable method for eliminating carbon and also to cut the other harmful emissions from the aviation sector. This collaboration with MHIRJ is a significant milestone for us and the aviation industry as a whole. We are honored to work with MHIRJ to introduce hydrogen-electric propulsion technology into the regional jet segment and demonstrate the myriad of cost and emissions benefits airlines can derive from hydrogen fueled flight."
ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting 500-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft used for commercial passenger transport, cargo, agriculture, and more. Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024. The company's expanding UK operations are supported by grants from UK's Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Prime Minister's Jet Zero Council. For more, please visit ZeroAvia.com, follow @ZeroAvia on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About MHI RJ Aviation Group
MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ) provides comprehensive critical operational, engineering and customer support solutions including maintenance, refurbishment, technical publications, marketing and sales activities for the global regional aircraft industry. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, and bolstered by an Aerospace Engineering Centre, MHIRJ's network of service centers, support offices and parts depots are positioned in important aviation hubs in the U.S., Canada and Germany. MHI RJ Aviation Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
For more information about MHI RJ Aviation Group, please visit: www.mhirj.com
About MHI Group
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world's leading industrial groups, spanning energy, logistics & infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world.
*CRJ, CRJ Series and MHIRJ are trademarks of MHI RJ Aviation ULC or its affiliates.
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