American Airlines invests in hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia

American Airlines has invested in ZeroAvia, a main player in hydrogen-electric, zero-emission aviation, as it looks to new technology for future aircraft.

In addition to the investment, a memorandum of understanding provides American the opportunity to order up to 100 engines from ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain development programme. 

The engines are intended to power regional jet aircraft with zero emissions.

“Our investment in ZeroAvia’s emerging hydrogen-electric engine technology has the potential to play a key role in the future of sustainable aviation,” said Derek Kerr, American’s CFO.

 “We are excited to contribute to this industry development and look forward to exploring how these engines can support the future of our airline as we build American Airlines to thrive forever.”

ZeroAvia is working to achieve certain type certifications of its innovative propulsion technology that will pave the way for the engines to be incorporated into the regional jet market in the future. 

The ZA2000-RJ powertrain is anticipated to enable passengers to fly in zero-emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s.

“Having support from the world’s largest airline is a strong indication of the progress we’re making on the development of hydrogen-electric, zero-emission flight,” added ZeroAvia Founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. 

“We are focused on delivering sustainable travel, and are delighted that American, a visionary leader in the industry, sees ZeroAvia as a part of the future of aviation.”
ZeroAvia is focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting a 300-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft by 2024, and up to 700-mile range in 40-80 seat aircraft by 2026. 

Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for its two-prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, and claims to be on track for commercial operations in 2024. 

The company’s UK operations are supported by grants from UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council. 

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