ZeroAvia and MONTE reach agreement for 100 hydrogen-electric powertrains to enable zero-emission aircraft leasing

ZeroAvia has signed an agreement with MONTE Aircraft Leasing (MONTE), the pioneering lessor of zero-emission turboprop regional aircraft. As part of the agreement, the partners will offer aircraft leasing and financing solutions enabling operators to fly zero-emissions.

As part of the agreement, MONTE will purchase up to 100 ZA600 power units for installation on existing and new Cessna Caravan, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228 and HAL-228 aircraft. MONTE and ZeroAvia aim to modernize the aircraft for customers from 2024 and will provide and fund maintenance services and hydrogen availability to support these operations. The agreement will make ZeroAvia MONTE the exclusive supplier of hydrogen-electric powertrains for these aircraft.

ZeroAvia’s ZA600 powertrain – ZeroAvia’s market entry, 600kW system, designed to support 5-20 seat airframes by 2024 – uses hydrogen gas stored onboard in tanks light. Hydrogen powers fuel cells that generate energy by converting hydrogen into electricity.

ZeroAvia will soon be flight testing the ZA600 powerplant in a retrofitted Dornier 228. In the initial test configuration, the aircraft testbed will fly with a hydrogen-electric powertrain on one wing, while keeping the stock engine on the other wing to ensure safe test conditions. The test program will then transition sequentially to fully hydrogen-electric flight, eventually working towards a hydrogen-electric powertrain certifiable as the sole source of propulsion for the airframe categories included in this agreement with MONTE.

Development work from the ZA600 to a certifiable configuration is part of the HyFlyer II project, partly supported by the UK government through the ATI programme.

Based in the United Kingdom and the United States, ZeroAvia has already obtained experimental certificates for its two prototype aircraft from the CAA and the FAA, achieved significant flight test milestones, concluded a number of key partnerships with major aircraft OEMs and major global airlines, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024. The company’s expanding UK operations are supported by grants from the British Institute of Technology aerospace and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK government’s Jet Zero Council.

MONTE is exclusively focused on supporting the aviation industry’s transition to net zero carbon emissions by providing financing and leasing solutions for zero emission technologies to regional aircraft operators. MONTE aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral aircraft leasing company by 2027.

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