In a record trip for low-carbon aviation, a startup has completed a test flight of a 19-seat aircraft powered in part by hydrogen fuel cells. It’s the largest plane that ZeroAvia, a leader in developing hydrogen-electric systems for planes, has tested in the air to date.
The flight took off from Cotswold Airport in the UK and lasted about 10 minutes altogether. During the flight, the plane’s left engines were powered by a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and batteries, while the right side relied on the fossil fuel kerosene.
By combining oxygen in the air with hydrogen, fuel cells generate electricity that can power a plane while releasing only water into the atmosphere.