The government is supporting the development of a hydrogen fuel-cell programme that will lead to a small passenger aircraft testing the technology in a flight out of Orkney.
The HyFlyer project, led by ZeroAvia, is aiming to demonstrate the technological readiness of a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. It has been backed by a £2.7mn government grant which has been matched by participants in the project, raising its funding to over £5mn. ZeroAvia said the project will put the UK “at the forefront” of research into the decarbonisation of aviation.
Longer-term, the California-based firm is aiming to set up regional services from 2022 of up to 500 nautical miles (nm) for 10 to 20-seater aircrafts using hydrogen technology.
Chief Executive, Val Miftakhov, said: “Our project goal of 300nm is equivalent to the distance from London to Edinburgh and will prove that zero-emission aviation, powered by hydrogen, can play a key role within the UK and other countries’ transport strategies.”