Behind the scenes at ZeroAvia’s UK center | Airlines

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The Cotswolds is a picturesque part of rural England, better known for its postcard-like villages than for being at the center of a burgeoning technological revolution. 

But it is in this unlikely setting that ZeroAvia, an Anglo-American startup backed by the likes of Bill Gates, British Airways and Airbus, is working to bring a zero-emissions hydrogen propulsion system to market which promises to redefine the way we understand regional air travel. 

AeroTime recently traveled to Cotswold Airport (GBA), a former Second World War Royal Air Force air base located in Gloucestershire, some 100 miles west of London. We took an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at ZeroAvia’s UK operations and saw up close how a new era of hydrogen aviation is taking shape.  

What is ZeroAvia? 

ZeroAvia is the brainchild of Val Miftakhov, a former Google executive who already has another sustainable mobility startup exit under his belt. 

The company was founded in 2017 with the mission to develop hydrogen propulsion technology that will make it possible for the commercial aviation industry to transition to an emission-less future. To achieve this goal ZeroAvia is developing a family of hydrogen-electric powertrains that use a hydrogen-fed fuel cell to turn the electric motors that power the aircraft.  

Miquel Ros // AeroTime

At the moment, ZeroAvia has two propulsion systems under development, each of a different power. The ZA600, delivering 500 to 750 Kw of power, or enough to power an aircraft for up to 19 passengers, and the more powerful ZA2000, whose 2-5 MW will be able to power a DeHavilland Canada Dash 8 or an ATR turboprop for 70 to 80 passengers. 

While still a young company by most measures, and notwithstanding some setbacks, such as the crash of one of its test aircraft in 2021, in which no one was injured, ZeroAvia has made notable inroads towards being able to deliver on its vision. 

In September 2020, ZeroAvia completed the first ever flight of a commercial-grade…

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