Natilus Taps Zeroavia ZA600 for Hydrogen Plane Propulsion

Natilus Taps Zeroavia ZA600 for Hydrogen Plane Propulsion

May 31, 2023 0 By Frankie Wallace

The first of the company’s fleet to use the new zero carbon emission H2 engine will be the Kona.

Leading autonomous blended-wing body (BWB) cargo aircraft designer and developer Natilus and leading zero-emission commercial aviation developer ZeroAvia have announced a strategic hydrogen plane engine development.

They will be working together to develop H2-electric engines for Natilus’ Kona cargo aircraft.

The ZeroAvia ZA600 will be the single hydrogen plane propulsion source available in the new Kona short-haul feeder USV. This partnership’s goal is primarily to offer zero-emission operations at a lower cost.

The uniquely designed BWB Natilus Kona provides added volume for the H2 storage with the potential to shake up the cargo delivery industry to an aircraft with low-carbon emissions at a low cost. At the same time, this model also makes it possible to lengthen flight range.

Through this ZeroAvia and Natilus partnership, the companies will leverage the former company’s H2-electric powertrain expertise in combination with the latter’s uniquely scalable long-range design for zero-emission air cargo delivery.

Natilus recently validated the BWB design with a quarter-scale Kona prototype for hydrogen plane flight test.

This involved testing a quarter-scale version of the prototype aircraft after three years of lengthy wind-tunnel tests. At the same time, ZeroAvia has conducted eight flight tests of its ZA600 prototype, a 600kW engine, tested in a 19-seat testbed aircraft.

Hydrogen Plane - Natilus ZeroAvia Hydrogen Powered Fuerteventura by spec comp small

Credit: Photo by Natilus

“Natilus has a long-term commitment to being a responsible steward of our environment, instituting practices that can protect the environment through continual improvements to save fuel and water, reduce waste, air emissions, noise, and material consumption,” said Natilus CEO and co-founder Aleksey Matyushev. “The Natilus-ZeroAvia partnership goes further, bringing the talents and innovations of the two companies together to deliver much needed innovation in the air cargo delivery industry and multiple solutions for our customers.”

Zero-emission flight

hydrogen news ebook“Given Natilus’ impressive order book and corresponding technology development, working
together on integrating the ZA600 as a line-fit engine for Kona can multiply the emissions and costs benefits that are already interesting cargo operators,” added ZeroAvia CEO and founder Val Miftakhov in a statement about the hydrogen plane partnership. “We all depend on air cargo operators, and some communities depend on them absolutely, so improving the economics and
environmental impacts of these operations while increasing service levels is a massive opportunity.”

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