ZeroAvia and MONTE agree to lease 100 hydrogen-electric powertrains for zero-emission aircraft

ZeroAvia, the leader in the development of zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation, has inked a deal with MONTE Aircraft Leasing (MONTE), the pioneer in zero-emission regional turboprop aircraft leasing.

As part of the deal, the partners will provide lease and financing options for aircraft that enable operators to conduct flights with zero emissions.

Under the terms of the agreement, MONTE will acquire up to 100 ZA600 powerplants for installation on current and new Cessna Caravan, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228 and HAL-228 aircraft. Beginning in 2024, MONTE and ZeroAvia intend to refit the aircraft for customers and will supply and finance maintenance and hydrogen availability services to support these operations. This agreement makes ZeroAvia MONTE’s only provider of hydrogen-electric powertrains for these aircraft.

Timothy Eyre, Investment Director, MONTE said: “We are delighted to have partnered with ZeroAvia who are the market leader in the hydrogen-electric space. Our partnership is an important step in our journey towards becoming one of the world’s first zero-emission aircraft lessors and we look forward to working with the ZeroAvia team on offering financing solutions for turboprop operators.”

James Peck, VP Business Development, ZeroAvia, said: “We’re pleased to announce our partnership with MONTE. Together, ZeroAvia and MONTE will provide a compelling proposition to operators of 5–20 seat aircraft. This partnership will offer flexibility to operators to allow them to launch zero-emissions flights on their networks, as well as extending the lifespan of hundreds of in-service airframes.”

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain combines cutting-edge fuel cell and electric motor technology to produce an unrivaled airplane engine with enhanced operational economics and zero environmental impact. The ZA600 powerplant, ZeroAvia’s market entry, 600kW system expected to accommodate 5–20 seat airframes by 2024, utilizes gaseous hydrogen stored in lightweight onboard tanks. Hydrogen is fed to fuel cell stacks that produce energy by converting hydrogen to electricity.

ZeroAvia will shortly conduct flying tests of the ZA600 propulsion system on a modified Dornier 228. To guarantee safe testing circumstances, the aircraft testbed will fly with one hydrogen-electric powertrain on one wing and the standard engine on the other wing in its initial configuration. The testing program will next advance successively to full hydrogen-electric flight, ultimately aiming for a certified hydrogen-electric powertrain as the only propulsion source for the types of airframes covered by this agreement with MONTE.

The work to develop ZA600 to a configuration that can be certified is part of the HyFlyer II project, which is partially financed by the ATI program of the United Kingdom government.

Nedim Husomanovic

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