Commercial aviation zero-emission solutions provider ZeroAvia has made a big leap forward in plans to deliver hydrogen-electric engines for regional jets thanks to its newly-announced agreement with MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ).

This expanded agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties at the end of last year and will see MHIRJ providing engineering services, aircraft integration and OEM experience to support the certification of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain for retrofit onto airframes in the regional jet markets.

ZeroAvia says it is already well advanced in plans to certify its ZA600, 600kW powertrain for 10-20 seat aircraft with entry into service planned for 2024. Concurrently, the company is working on ZA2000, a 2-5MW modular powertrain which targets support for 40-80 seat turboprops by 2026.

The company’s ZA2000RJ powertrain will be expanding this technology to enable passengers to fly in zero-emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s.

This agreement places the CRJ Series aircraft as a frontrunner for the earliest operations using true zero-emission engines. Over 2,000 CRJ Series aircraft have been built since the launch of the programme, effectively establishing itself as the backbone of regional aviation in the United States.

Val Miftakhov, CEO and Founder of ZeroAvia, said: “There are hundreds of CRJ Series aircraft in daily operation across North America, transporting millions of passengers. All these flights can and should be zero-emission well before the end of this decade. This agreement is a giant step forward in delivering hydrogen-electric engines to the regional jet segment.”

Hiro Yamamoto, President and CEO of MHIRJ, said: “We are very excited about this agreement with ZeroAvia as it furthers two important goals for MHIRJ. The first is to continue to grow our AEC business through working with other companies and using our vast engineering expertise to advance this state-of-the art project. The second benefit is that we are part of the value chain in bringing innovative sustainable technology into the regional space.”

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