Canadian Manufacturing

MHI RJ and ZeroAvia to collaborate on the design of zero emission technology for regional jets

MHIRJ will be supporting ZeroAvia by providing engineering services in support of the certification of the engines to PART 33 for aircraft.

October 25, 2021  by CM Staff

KEMBLE and HOLLISTER and MONTREAL — MHI RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ), a CRJ Series Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul company and ZeroAvia, a company involved in hydrogen-electric propulsion for aviation, announced on Oct. 25 that they had signed an agreement to cooperate in developing hydrogen-electric propulsion for regional jet applications. The collaboration with MHIRJ will leverage ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology and MHIRJ’s aircraft design, certification and support background to create aircraft solutions. This has the potential to deliver new aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion, and also efficiently retrofit existing aircraft in the market. According to the MOU, MHIRJ will be supporting ZeroAvia by providing engineering services in support of the certification of the engines to PART 33 for aircraft, as well as assisting ZeroAvia by providing advisory services evaluating the feasibility of a green retrofit program for regional aircraft.

This marks a step in ZeroAvia’s progress and entry into a wider market. The company has completed more than 35 test flights of a Piper M-class six-seat aircraft using its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Currently, it is working to convert a larger 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft with its zero-emission powertrain with a first test flight expected in the coming months. ZeroAvia plans certification and market entry for its 19-seat powertrain by 2024, with an eye towards larger aircraft (50-80 seats) by 2026, and regional jets around 2028.

“Developing aviation solutions for the future requires a re-assessment of their environmental impact and developing new technologies to ensure that aviation lives up to the commitments required to meet carbon reduction targets. At MHIRJ we are working with propulsion innovators to ensure that we are at the forefront of such developments and can design solutions to move the world forward,” said Hiro Yamamoto, President and CEO of MHIRJ. “Regional aircraft are key to keeping smaller communities and regions connected and are also more able to exploit the new technologies on the horizon than larger aircraft and, therefore this is a logical place for this development to begin and we are proud to be a part of this innovative solution.”

Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia added: “We believe that in the future almost every aircraft in the world will be powered by hydrogen-electric engines, simply because it is the most viable and scalable method for eliminating carbon and also to cut the other harmful emissions from the aviation sector. This collaboration with MHIRJ is a significant milestone for us and the aviation industry as a whole.”

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