First commercial sized electric flight hits UK skies: ZeroAvia a Silicon Valley startup has conducted what they claim is the ‘first-ever BATTERY electric-powered flight’ of a commercial-scale aircraft carried out in the UK.

Tthe new version of the company’s powertrain flew its first flight from its base at Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire.

The six-seater plane promises a better energy-to-weight ratio, making it viable for much larger scale commercial operations and in a shorter time frame, using the new powertrain.

ZeroAvia is focused on developing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and have it in commercial use as early as 2023 with plans to convert a 19-seat aircraft to run on hydrogen fuel.

ZeroAvia has completed a full set of ground-based flight simulations for its long-distance hydrogen flights and a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure has recently been commissioned to fuel the planes.

ZeroAvia Founder and CEO, Val Miftakhov said: “Today’s flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero-emission flight closer to reality.

“We all want the aviation industry to come back after the pandemic on a firm footing to be able to move to a net zero future, with a green recovery. That will not be possible without realistic, commercial options for zero-emission flight, something we will bring to the market as early as 2023.”

There are further plans for longer-distance hydrogen-electric test flights later this summer.

First commercial sized electric flight hits UK skies

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