Spain, one of Europe’s countries striving for carbon-neutral transportation by 2050, is witnessing the rise of young companies like Surcar Airlines, determined to make a difference in the aviation industry’s environmental impact.
Surcar Airlines has set its sights on providing 100% green flights, and its approach involves retrofitting existing conventional aircraft with hydrogen-electric powertrains. This bold initiative aims to drastically reduce emissions and pave the way for a sustainable future in aviation.
Surcar Airlines, a forward-thinking aviation operator, is committed to transforming its fleet of conventional aircraft into eco-friendly alternatives. While the ultimate goal is to offer 100% zero-emission flights, the company is starting with retrofitting the iconic Twin Otter seaplane with a hydrogen-electric powertrain.
The Twin Otter, a reliable short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, has been operational since the 1970s. Instead of designing entirely new aircraft, Surcar Airlines is leveraging ZeroAvia’s ZA600, a 600 kW hydrogen-electric engine designed for regional aircraft with nine to 19 seats. The ZA600 promises a range of 300 miles, making it suitable for island-hopping operations.
ZeroAvia, headquartered in both the US and the UK, is at the forefront of hydrogen aviation. The company’s ZA600 engine has undergone extensive testing, including a successful campaign using the Dornier 228 aircraft in the UK. During the tests, the ZA600-equipped Dornier 228 reached an altitude of 5,000 feet and flew for approximately 20 minutes, showcasing its capabilities and potential.
With the Twin Otter retrofitted with the ZA600, Surcar Airlines envisions a greener future for tourist transportation in the Canary Islands, one of Spain’s popular destinations. The ambition is to transition to zero-emission flights for this picturesque location, setting an example for sustainable tourism.
While Surcar Airlines’ vision is ambitious, the journey to fully certified and commercially operational hydrogen-powered flights requires rigorous testing and regulatory approval. ZeroAvia’s ZA600 is currently working toward obtaining certification, with the aim of launching commercial services by 2025.
The ZA600 is just the beginning of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-powered revolution. Following its success, the company is already eyeing the ZA2000, an even more powerful engine designed for large airliners with 40 to 80 seats. The ZA2000 promises a range of 700 miles, further pushing the boundaries of sustainable aviation.
Surcar Airlines’ commitment to hydrogen retrofitting and ZeroAvia’s pioneering technology bring the dream of green aviation closer to reality. As Spain and other nations seek sustainable transportation solutions, the quest for carbon-neutral aviation gains momentum. With the ZA600 and ZA2000 engines paving the way, hydrogen-powered flights are poised to revolutionize the future of aviation, taking us towards cleaner skies and a greener tomorrow.