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Hydrogen-powered planes take off with startup’s take a look at flight


Aviation accounts for about 3% of worldwide greenhouse gasoline emissions, and the trade is rising rapidly. While airways and a few trade teams have pledged to chop emissions to net-zero by 2050, the calls for of flying are tough to realize with out fossil fuels. 

Hydrogen gasoline cells characterize one potential route that some firms hope will help cut back emissions from the aviation trade, however to make important cuts, the know-how would should be scaled as much as energy comparatively giant plane.

“This is placing us straight on the trail to business launches,” mentioned Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia founder and CEO, in a press convention saying the outcomes of the take a look at flight. 

ZeroAvia has raised over $140 million in funding from buyers, together with United Airlines and American Airlines, in addition to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bill Gates’s power enterprise fund. The firm has additionally acquired over 1500 pre-orders from prospects for its hydrogen fuel-cell methods, in line with Miftakhov.

The startup has been flying take a look at flights for a number of years with smaller planes, with various levels of success. In 2021, one was forced to land and the plane was damaged after the battery backup system was shut off. With solely the hydrogen gasoline cells operating, the aircraft misplaced energy to its electrical motors. 

The battery system supported the latest January 2023 take a look at flight of the 19-seat aircraft, which was delayed from summer 2022. Batteries equipped about 50% of the ability to the left facet of the plane for the entire flight, with the hydrogen gasoline cell system supplying the opposite 50%. 

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