CAAi to advise ZeroAvia on hydrogen-electric propulsion

CAAi to advise ZeroAvia on hydrogen-electric propulsion

ZeroAvia has appointed CAA International (CAAi) to provide regulatory advisory services to support the design and development of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell electric propulsion system.

Since its inception in 2018, ZeroAvia has been working with aircraft operators, owners, and manufacturers toward supplying the world’s breakthrough zero-emission engines and the infrastructure and fuel to power a revolution in greener flight. During the next phase in ZeroAvia’s journey to zero-emission aviation, it plans to install 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrains on 9-to-19 seat demonstrator aircraft, replacing the conventional engines. By examining the safety and regulatory aspects with CAAi, ZeroAvia aims to achieve Type Certification for the retrofitted hydrogen-electric powered aircraft by the end of 2024.

The company is targeting standalone type certification for aspects of its powerplant (electric propulsion system, power generation system) in the same way that a turbine engine is certified today. This then facilitates installation on various airframes via an airframe-specific Supplemental Type Certificate.

During the coming months, design and certification specialists from CAAi will be tasked with conducting a program of workshops with ZeroAvia to identify gaps in certification specifications and safety requirements that may warrant modifications to the hydrogen-electric propulsion system.

Speaking after the project kick-off meeting, Jolanta Rekiel-Taylor, Senior Manager of International Development at CAAi, commented: “We are delighted to be working with ZeroAvia on this important program to help scale sustainable aviation and seek a route to net zero flight. By helping ZeroAvia navigate some of the regulatory requirements needed for safe operation, we are committed to helping ZeroAvia achieve its goal of Supplemental Type Certification by late 2024.”

Dominic Cheater, Head of DOA and Airworthiness at ZeroAvia, added: “The test flights that we have conducted of our hydrogen-electric powertrain have built a lot of excitement about the potential for zero-emission aviation, but the real revolution will be having a configuration which is certified by the aviation regulators and put into commercial use. To get there, we need the continued commitment and expertise of our own team and the support of specialists like CAAi.”

The project commences in June 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2024.

CAA International (CAAi) is the technical cooperation arm of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. CAAi provides regulatory advice, training, capacity building programs and examination services to aviation regulators and industry organizations across the globe.

Drawing on world-leading expertise from within the UK regulator, CAAi helps organizations design and implement regulatory best practice to comply with international regulatory standards.

In 2019, CAAi trained more than 2,500 aviation professionals and worked in over 60 countries.