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De Havilland Canada and ZeroAvia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a hydrogen-electric engine for De Havilland’s Dash 8-400 aircraft.

ZeroAvia will develop 50 hydrogen-electric engines for De Havilland to purchase and retrofit to the aircraft. 

The Dash 8-400 is one of the most reliable turboprop aircraft, with the more than 625 models delivered clocking up 11 million flight hours with 550 million passengers on board. 

“De Havilland Canada has made significant strides on emission reductions and shown a big commitment to greener aviation, and the next step is to go to true zero-emission using hydrogen-electric engines. Partnering with De Havilland Canada puts ZeroAvia on a defined pathway to line-fitting into new airframes and signals OEM appetite to make the switch to certified, zero-emission propulsion as soon as possible,” says Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia

As part of the program, ZeroAvia will develop a flight demonstrator, with De Havilland’s support, to aid certification and showcase the potential of the company’s 2 MW+ engine.

“De Havilland Canada has a strong belief in hydrogen-electric technology as a viable solution for de-carbonizing aviation. We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with ZeroAvia in developing climate-friendly propulsion as an option for our customers around the globe,” says Dave Riggs’ De Havilland’s Chief Transformation Officer.

Based in the UK and US, ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric solutions are currently targeting 10-20 seat aircraft with a 500-mile range used for passenger and transport applications alike. 

ZeroAvia has also recently signed deals with ASL Aviation to help develop its engines for use in cargo planes.

Meanwhile, the company is also planning to make the first-ever commercial hydrogen-powered flight between London and Rotterdam The Hague in a 19-seat aircraft in 2024.

This flight would be a serious milestone for the company, which is also working on developing fuelling solutions for the zero-emissions planes to support future travellers.

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