ZeroAvia and MONTE strike deal for 100 hydrogen-electric powertrains

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ZeroAvia, the leader in developing zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation, has signed an agreement with MONTE Aircraft Leasing (MONTE), the pioneering zero-emissions regional turboprop aircraft lessor. As part of the agreement the partners will offer aircraft leasing and financing solutions that enable operators to run zero-emission flights.

Under the deal, MONTE will purchase up to 100 ZA600 powertrains to be installed on existing and new Cessna Caravan, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228 and HAL-228 aircraft. MONTE and ZeroAvia aim to retrofit the aircraft for clients starting in 2024 and will provide and finance maintenance and hydrogen availability services to support these operations. The deal will make ZeroAvia MONTE’s exclusive hydrogen-electric powertrain provider for these aircraft.

Timothy Eyre, investment director, MONTE said: “We are delighted to have partnered with ZeroAvia who are the market leader in the hydrogen-electric space. Our partnership is an important step in our journey towards becoming one of the world’s first zero-emission aircraft lessors and we look forward to working with the ZeroAvia team on offering financing solutions for turboprop operators.”

James Peck, VP business development, ZeroAvia, said: “We’re pleased to announce our partnership with MONTE. Together, ZeroAvia and MONTE will provide a compelling proposition to operators of 5-20 seat aircraft. This partnership will offer flexibility to operators to allow them to launch zero-emissions flights on their networks, as well as extending the lifespan of hundreds of in-service airframes.”

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain brings state-of-the-art fuel cell and electric motor technology together to create an unparalleled aircraft engine that will deliver improved operating economics without harming the planet. The ZA600 powertrain – ZeroAvia’s market entry, 600kW system uses gaseous hydrogen stored onboard in lightweight tanks. The hydrogen feeds fuel cell stacks that generate power by converting hydrogen into electricity.

ZeroAvia will soon flight test the ZA600 powertrain in a retrofitted Dornier 228. In the initial testing configuration, the aircraft testbed will fly with one hydrogen-electric powertrain on one wing, while keeping the stock engine on the other wing to ensure safe testing conditions. The testing program will then sequentially move to full hydrogen-electric flight, ultimately working towards a certifiable hydrogen-electric powertrain as the sole propulsion source for the categories of airframes included in this deal with MONTE.

The work to develop ZA600 up to a certifiable configuration is part of the HyFlyer II project, in part supported by the UK Government through the ATI program.