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Hydrogen-electric engines to power Ecojet

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28 Nov 2023

Dale Vince, founder of Ecojet, has announced that the newly launched airline will use hydrogen-electric propulsion technology pioneered locally in Kemble.

The hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity. This then powers the electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers. The only emission is water.

Ecojet has signed an agreement with ZeroAvia for up to 70 hydrogen-electric, zero-emission engines. When first operating in 2024, the airline will use conventionally powered aircraft to operate routes to and from Edinburgh.

However, Ecojet’s goal is to become the world’s first electric airline, and the airline will achieve this by retrofitting its aircraft with ZeroAvia’s ZA600 engines once certified.

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Ecojet will also be working alongside MONTE, a clean technology business working to accelerate the transition to net zero CO2 emissions, to bring this ground-breaking technology to market. ZeroAvia is targeting type certification of the ZA600 engine in 2025.

The airline has also placed a larger order for the more powerful ZA2000 engine, which is designed for up to 80 seat regional turboprops and has an entry-in-service target of 2027. This will open up the potential to fly certain aircraft like the ATR72 and DASH 8 400 on regional routes across the world.

Working alongside ZeroAvia and MONTE, Ecojet will create the first pathways to hydrogen- electric commercial operations. It’s a very exciting time for the aviation industry!

Dale Vince, Founder, Ecojet, said: “We don't have to give up flying to live a green lifestyle or to get to net zero as a country - and this is big news.  The technology is here now, and the planes are coming very soon - carbon free, guilt free flying is just around the corner.  And although aviation is responsible for only a small part of all global emissions, it occupies a far bigger space than that in our psyche.  The hearts and minds’ value of this new opportunity outweighs the carbon issue significantly. It shows that everything we need to do, can be done, with a low to zero carbon footprint. And that is big news and a big encouragement to us all.”

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