Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power, and AeroTEC today (4th August) announced the establishment of a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington.
The centre will focus on the test flight and certification of Universal Hydrogen’s retrofit conversion of a Dash-8 regional turboprop aircraft, scheduled for entry into commercial service in 2025.
Plug Power to supply fuel cells and magniX supply hydrogen powertrain comprised of electric propulsion units (EPUs). AeroTEC will lead aircraft conversion, flight test, and certification activities. The conversion work and flight test would be based in AeroTEC’s Moses Lake facility.
Universal Hydrogen’s Dash-8 conversion will be the first commercially relevant hydrogen-powered aircraft, serving 41 to 60 passengers on routes up to 1,000 km. Hydrogen fuel for the plans will be supplied using modular capsules that can be transported to airports using the existing freight network and on-airport cargo handling equipment without new infrastructure.
Ravn Alaska, Icelandair, and Spain’s Air Nostrum, have already signed letters of intent with Universal Hydrogen to convert their existing and future fleets to a hydrogen powertrain and for long-term hydrogen fuel supply contracts using Universal Hydrogen’s modular capsule distribution network.
Universal Hydrogen investors include Plug Power, Fortescue Future Industries, Coatue, Global Founders Capital, Airbus Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota Ventures, and Sojitz Corporation.
Emily Wittman, President and CEO of Aerospace Futures Alliance, said, “Their investment in Moses Lake puts Washington at the forefront of these efforts. The possibilities for our state’s aviation sector are enormous.”
AeroTEC founder and CEO, Lee Human, commented, “This program will leverage AeroTEC’s aircraft integration expertise and modification facilities in Moses Lake, and will not only bring an exciting new set of flight tests to the region but also a long-term aircraft conversion and continued airworthiness program.”
Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, said, “From its days as a World War II air training centre to a centre today for alternative fuel development and flight testing, Moses Lake, Washington has led the way in aviation, energy, and innovation.”
magniX CEO, Roei Ganzarski, added, “Zero emissions aviation is no longer a dream—together we are making it a reality.”
Paul Eremenko, CEO of Universal Hydrogen, said, “The tremendous aerospace and cleantech workforce, our incredible partners here, abundant renewable electricity for green hydrogen production, and the support of local and state governments is unparalleled.”