ZeroAvia and Textron to develop hydrogen-electric powertrain for Cessna Grand Caravan


ZeroAvia has entered into a “non-exclusive joint development agreement” with Textron Aviation to put its hydrogen-electric powertrains in the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B.

To do so, ZeroAvia will get a supplemental type certificate (STC) to retrofit the Grand Caravan with its ZA600 zero-emission powertrain. The Cessna’s high-wing design makes it a good candidate because having the ability to mount hydrogen fuel tanks under the wings means operators can maintain seat capacity or cargo space.

Textron will provide data, engineering and certification support for the ZA600 powertrain system. ZeroAvia aims to obtain certification for the 600kW powertrain as early as 2025.

Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia, said: “The famous Cessna Grand Caravan is on track to be one of the first airframes operating commercial services – both cargo and passenger – with hydrogen-electric, zero-emission engines. We applaud the visionary leadership of Textron Aviation in joining us to help transform a much-loved mainstay of sub-regional aviation into a symbol of sustainable transformation in aviation.”

Back in the UK, ZeroAvia is “well advanced” in retrofitting its system into a 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft at its R&D location at Cotswold Airport. First test flights are expected over the next few weeks.

ZeroAvia is concurrently developing its ZA2000, 2-5MW engine class for 40-80 seat aircraft with an entry-into-service target of 2027.

The development of the 600kW system through to a certifiable design is part of the HyFlyer II project, supported by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK through the ATI Programme.