ZeroAvia signs deal for clean cargo flights
By Simon Hacker | 26th May 2023
Californian innovators Natilus and Gloucestershire eco startup ZeroAvia are joining forces to develop hydrogen-electric engines for the pilot-less Natilus Kona cargo aircraft.
ZeroAvia's ZA600 will be the sole hydrogen-electric propulsion source offered for the novel Kona short-haul feeder UAV.
Val Miftakhov, Founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, said: "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. We all depend on cargo operators, and some communities depend on them absolutely, so improving economics and environmental impacts of these operations while increasing service levels is a massive opportunity."
The company added the deal "marks a momentous milestone in the advancement of zero-emission solutions".
The strategic partnership will jointly develop hydrogen-electric engines for the Natilus Kona cargo aircraft. Natilus is a leading innovator in designing and developing new autonomous blended-wing body (BWB) cargo aircraft and ZeroAvia's ZA600 will be the sole hydrogen-electric propulsion source offered for the novel Kona short-haul feeder UAV.
The project aims to deliver on zero-emission and lower cost goals.
ZeroAvia added: "The Natilus Kona, with its revolutionary BWB design, offers increased volume for hydrogen storage, potentially transforming the air cargo delivery industry to one with low-cost, low carbon emissions, while also extending flight range. The partnership with ZeroAvia will leverage their expertise in hydrogen-electric powertrain technology with Natilus' unique design to create a scalable, long-range, and zero-emission air cargo delivery solution for the entire industry." Natilus recently validated the performance of the BWB design with flight testing of a quarter-scale Kona prototype aircraft, following three years of extensive wind-tunnel testing, while ZeroAvia has now conducted eight test flights of its prototype ZA600, 600kW engine in a 19-seat testbed aircraft.
Aleksey Matyushev, Co-founder and CEO of Natilus, said: "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. 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."
Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.