ZeroAvia signs deals with ASL Aviation and Hindustan Aeronautics

ZeroAvia partnership is expected to lead to some of the earliest commercial freight operations using hydrogen-electric propulsion.

ZeroAvia (innovator in hydrogen-electric zero-emission powertrains) has signed a partnership agreement with ASL Aviation Holdings to develop hydrogen-electric engine conversions for ATR72 aircraft.

The partnership project will see ZeroAvia convert around 10 ASL’s owned ATR72 freighter aircraft to hydrogen-electric propulsion, resulting in zero-emission hydrogen-electric powered operations for the carrier from 2026 onwards.

Both partners are members of the ASL CargoVision Forum, an initiative to drive innovation and sustainability in the air cargo industry, aiming to use ZeroAvia’s new technology to reduce emissions progressively in the regional sector where connectivity is critical issue.

ZeroAvia will collaborate with ASL to develop its ZA2000 Powertrain, which is a 2 – 5 MW powertrain for aircraft models that are typically outfitted with 40 – 90 seats in passenger configurations. The ATR variant is optimised to be retrofitted on the ATR72 aircraft and utilises a hydrogen fuel cell and electric motor powertrain.

Meanwhile, ZeroAvia has also signed a development collaboration agreement with the Indian state-owned aerospace & defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for a hydrogen-electric powertrain capable of flying the 19 seats Dornier 228 aircraft up to 500 NM.

The collaboration aims to develop a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to allow retrofit of existing airframes for both Indian military and worldwide operators. HAL also aims to continue to build new aircraft with additional FAA approval, designated Hindustan-228, creating the opportunity to incorporate ZeroAvia’s ZA600 zero-emission engines. The partners will integrate ZeroAvia’s ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain into the Dornier 228 airframe.

HAL signed a technology transfer agreement with Dornier in 1983 and has produced main sub-assemblies and over 150 aircraft, including those operated by the Indian military. The production line of Do-228 aircraft is operational at HAL, India (Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, UP, India). Around 270 Dornier 228 aircraft have been manufactured globally, with 242 currently operating.

ZeroAvia is also working on its Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE), developed with EMEC as part of the HyFlyer programme in the UK Government-backed ATI programme. Moreover, it is recently awarded new transport research and innovation grant from the UK Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) programme to explore concepts for liquid hydrogen refuelling in an airport setting.

Ethan Mandel

Ethan is the special correspondent for Europe covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me via email or follow me on social media. I am reachable on Phone: +44 (0) 208 123 7812
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