ZeroAvia has signed a memorandum of understanding with MRO provider FEAM Aero as the powertrain developer attempts to build-up a maintenance network for its propulsion system ahead of service entry.

Its pact with Florida-based FEAM Aero covers retrofit, maintenance, and technical support activities for operators seeking to convert their aircraft to use the fuel cell-based powertrain.

Do 228 below-c-ZeroAvia

Source: ZeroAvia

Modified Dornier 228 has been flown from Kemble in the UK

ZeroAvia has applied to regulators for certification of its initial 600kW ZA600 powertrain for 9-19-seat types but is already working on a more powerful successor, the 2-5MW ZA2000, designed for 40-80-seat regional aircraft.

Service entry for the ZA2000 is targeted for 2027. ZeroAvia notes that FEAM Aero already services fleets relevant to that powertrain, including De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprops and Bombardier CRJ-family jets.

As part of the agreement, FEAM Aero will explore establishing a green hydrogen production facility at one of its locations in the USA, enabling the support of early retrofit, testing and training work.

“ZeroAvia needs to partner to build the network that can support our customers who are already planning their switch away from combustion engines and FEAM Aero has an exceptional track record of service and an uncompromising focus on safety and quality, as well as strong alignment with ZeroAvia’s values,” says James Peck, the company’s chief customer officer.

ZeroAvia has been flight testing a prototype of its ZA600 system aboard a modified Dornier 228 aircraft (G-HFZA) at its UK base in Kemble, Gloucestershire, over the last 15 months.

It is unclear how much the aircraft has been flown recently, with the initial flight-test phase having ended last year. But flight tracking website FlightAware shows a short sortie took place on 4 April.

ZeroAvia in November last year indicated it planned to carry out point-to-point flights of the aircraft in late 2023 or early 2024.