ZeroAvia Flight Testing Hydrogen-Electric Powerplant - ZeroAvia

    Please enter your email to subscribe to our newsletter.


    ZeroAvia Dornier 228 First Flight, January 19, 2023
    January 19, 2023

    ZeroAvia Flight Testing Hydrogen-Electric Powerplant

    Thanks for checking up on the progress of our Dornier 228 testing program and getting a glimpse at the future of clean aviation!

    We have retrofit our prototype ZA600 engine to power the left side propeller of our Dornier 228. The aircraft made history with a milestone first flight on January 19th 2023. The subsequent flights are all part of our bid to build understanding ahead of submitting for certification by the close of this year. ZeroAvia intends to power zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2025.


    We’ll use this page to share the latest updates from the flight test program, including photos and videos from flights, as well as behind the scenes content. Get in touch to let us know your views or pose any questions.

    Table of Contents

    July 19, 2023

    Flight 10 - ZeroAvia Successfully Completes #Do228 Flight Test Campaign!

    A milestone moment in zero-emission technology flight testing! 


    We have now completed the 10th successful flight of the #Do228 testbed aircraft, marking the completion of our initial flight test campaign using the prototype ZA600. The test flight has set the groundwork for projecting future ranges using the system, teeing up the first course country flights as the next stage of testing and demonstration. 


    We have tested different areas of performance since our breakthrough world-first flight in January. The campaign has seen the aircraft fly above 5,000 feet, perform an endurance test at 23 minutes, and reach the maximum allowable speed under the Permit to Fly issued by the CAA.   


    Critically, throughout all phases of testing, the fuel cell power generation and electric propulsion system that are the core components of the novel zero-emission engine, performed at or above expectations. 


    Read more here. Plenty more flying to come as we pave the way for zero-emission aviation! Keep an eye out for future updates. 


    Pictured in the photo is the flight ops and Part145 team at ZeroAvia celebrating after the 10th Flight! 

    July 7, 2023

    Flight 9 - Welcome to the Mile Hydrogen Club!

    Welcome to the Mile Hydrogen Club! 


    A great end to the week with the successful completion of our 9th test flight of the Dornier 228 testbed in the wonderfully sunny Cotswolds. The aircraft testing our prototype ZA600 powertrain reached its highest altitude yet, ascending to 5,000 feet MSL, and flying for 20 minutes in total. 


    In the coming days we will undertake our last flight of this phase of flight testing, when we will assess the powertrain’s maximum endurance. Stay tuned for this milestone as we continue to push boundaries!


    Pictured are the aircraft taking off, in flight and two of our senior team – Head of Aircraft Integration and Testing Gabriele Teofili and CTO, Hydrogen Rudolf Coertze

    Another major milestone for ZeroAvia, with the 8th Flight of the Dornier 228 at Cotswold Airport

    May 18, 2023

    Flight 8 - And longer! And higher!

    Another major milestone for ZeroAvia, with the 8th Flight of the Dornier 228 at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire. ZeroAvia’s testbed aircraft soared to 4,000 feet MSL, making it the highest flying commercial-scale aircraft powered by fuel cells.


    The aircraft flew for 22 minutes, the longest duration flight yet. Fuel cell systems and the whole hydrogen-electric powertrain performing superbly well.

    May 10, 2023

    Flight 7 - Going longer!

    The Magnificent Seven! Flight 7 of the retrofitted Dornier 228. We flew for 16 minutes, making this the longest flight yet.


    The flight included two climbs. Low cloud cover kept us at lower altitude, making this a good day for flying for longer, versus higher!

    April 28, 2023

    Flight 6 - Going higher!

    Going higher! Having hit our max speed under the permit to fly during flight 5, the team were able to shift focused to flying at higher altitudes to test the system.


    During the sixth flight in this first phase of our flight testing, the Dornier reached 3,000 feet, with the hydrogen-electric powertrain performing as expected. Onwards and upwards!

    Flight five in the books!

    April 25, 2023

    Flight 5 - Performed as expected

    Flight five in the books! As we approach the midway point in the first phase of our flight testing programme for the retrofitted Dornier 228, we are happy to have achieved the maximum speed allowed under the permit to fly. During three loops of Cotswold Airport, test pilot Jon Killerby and flight test engineer James Yapp reached a top speed of 150 knots.


    In all five flights so far, the hydrogen-electric engine has performed as the team have expected and hoped. Over the next few weeks, we will begin to test at progressively higher altitudes. This testing all helps in our progression towards a certifiable design and the targeted entry-in-service date of 2025.

    April 13, 2023

    Flight 4 - Testing speed

    Amidst a break in the April showers, the flight test team at Kemble managed to perform a fourth test flight of the Dornier 228, completing three circuits above the Cotswold countryside.


    The aircraft reached its highest speed yet (140 kts), with the fuel cell and electric propulsion systems powering the left wing and continuing to increase the performance envelope.


    More flying planned next week and beyond!

    April 6, 2023

    Flight 3 - First hydrogen-electric only flying

    In the third flight in our testing program, we took another massive step forwards with the aircraft performing a leveled flight using only the ZA600 prototype engine. The test crew flew with zero thrust from the conventional turbine engine as the ZA600 entirely powered the testbed aircraft as it circled Cotswold Airport. The flight crew were able to perform tests to confirm the aircraft was able to fly on hydrogen-electric power with the turbine throttled back to simulate a zero thrust. This is all part of our ongoing tests of the powertrain.


    The flight consisted of three loops around the airport in Gloucestershire, UK, with a max speed of 130 knots.


    Plenty more flying to come as we test the system more as part of our path to certification by 2025. Stay tuned for further updates.

    January 19th, 2023

    First Breakthrough Flight

    ZeroAvia made aviation history with a huge step forward for the development of zero-emission flight on January 19th, 2023. The 19-seat Dornier 228 testbed aircraft took to the skies above England’s Cotswolds with the leftside propeller powered by a hydrogen-electric powertrain, making this the largest aircraft flown with hydrogen-electric propulsion at the time.


    This sets ZeroAvia well on the way to meeting the target of commercial flights using only hydrogen fuel cell power by 2025. It is a huge step towards a truly clean future for aviation.


    The future of flight is renewable hydrogen, and we’re so proud to be leading the way!

    September 30, 2022

    High Speed Taxi Testing

    Time to release the brakes!


    ZeroAvia ended September 2022 on a high, with our team witnessing the Dornier 228 aircraft accelerating down the runway, as part of our last giant step towards flight testing.


    The high speed taxiing took place at Cotswold Airport, last week. Test Pilot, Jon Killerby said: “We were able to do four rounds down the runway. We’re really happy with the handling and the performance of the fuel cells, especially. They’re generating the power we need, and were stable throughout the whole timespan we were running it.”

    September 13, 2022

    First Movements of ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 Aircraft

    What a sight!


    All eyes were glued on the Dornier 228 as it made its first movements on the runway, with the hydrogen-electric powertrain powering the left side propeller!


    The medium power taxi testing took place early September 2022 at Cotswold Airport. Head of Aircraft Integration & Testing, Gabriele Teofili said:”The hydrogen-electric powertrain is delivering power, it’s doing what we expect, and the only thing that was not according to our expectation were a couple of drops of rain. Otherwise, we are very happy.

    June 15, 2022

    Start of the ground testing

    ZeroAvia started ground testing fully integrated flight configuration 19-seat prototype​.


    In mid-June 2022, ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 testbed aircraft was on the verge of being the largest aircraft ever flown with a hydrogen-electric powertrain. ZeroAvia started the first outdoor ground testing of our aircraft after spending weeks completing the installation of the hydrogen-electric powertrain.


    According to Gabriele Teofili, the Head of Aircraft Integration and Testing at ZeroAvia, the commencement of the ground-test program was a day that engineers eagerly wait for.

    December 1, 2021

    First Propeller Spin

    First Propeller Spin for ZeroAvia’s Dornier 228 19-seat testbed Aircraft.


    ZeroAvia reached another milestone just before the end of 2021 with the first spin of the propeller on our Dornier 228 using electric power. The test was designed as a functional check of the fully integrated and flight-ready Electric Propulsion System aboard the testbed aircraft at Cotswold Airport in the UK. Several tests were performed, kicking off the 4-week ground test program before clearing the aircraft for flight.


    ZeroAvia’s work on the powertrain for 10-20 seat aircraft is part of the HyFlyer II project, in partnership with Aeristech and EMEC, and supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute, Innovate UK and BEIS.

    Subscribe to our Newsletters