ZeroAvia has agreed a development collaboration with Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for a hydrogen-electric powertrain capable of flying the 19 seat Dornier 228 aircraft up to 500 nm.
The two companies will develop a supplemental type certificate (STC) to allow retrofits of existing airframes for both Indian military and worldwide operators. HAL also intends to continue to build new aircraft with additional FAA approval, designated Hindustan-228, creating the opportunity to incorporate ZeroAvia's ZA600 zero-emission engines.
“HAL is committed to contributing to the protection and better development of the environment. This MoU with ZeroAvia has the potential to pave the way for zero emission regional connectivity,” says chairman and managing director Shri Madhavan. “We are looking forward to steering and supporting sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation in India and the world.”
Approximately 270 Dornier 228 aircraft have been manufactured globally, with 242 currently in service. The production line of Do-228 aircraft is operational at HAL's Transport Aircraft Division in Uttar Pradesh, India. 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.
“HAL fully supports the ongoing development of the Dornier 228 aircraft, and it is critical to offer it as a zero emission platform, including the conversion of the existing fleet,” adds transport aircraft division general manager Apurba Roy. “We are honoured to partner with ZeroAvia, who in our view is leading the way in the development of innovative solutions to deliver practical zero-emission aircraft.”
“We are pleased to be working with HAL to deliver zero emission aircraft to market in the shortest time frame,” adds ZeroAvia CEO and founder Val Miftakhov. “HAL has a long experience with the Dornier 228 aircraft and, since this is also our flight test aircraft, this collaboration helps us achieve our goal of certifying our engine whilst providing an STC solution to operators worldwide.”
A Dornier 228 based at ZeroAvia's facility at Cotswold airport in the UK is being used as the dedicated development platform for the HyFlyer II project, which is progressing the R&D required for the ZA600 powertrain for 19 seat aircraft. ZeroAvia recently successfully ground-tested its 600kW powertrain and will begin flight testing using its Dornier 228 in the coming months to achieve certification and entry into commercial service in 2024.
HyFlyer II is part-funded by the ATI programme, which is supported by the UK's Aerospace Technology Institute, Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
In October 2021, ZeroAvia partnered with Rotterdam The Hague airport on a project to establish a hydrogen-electric international passenger route using 19 seat aircraft such as HAL's 228.