American Airlines has placed a conditional order for up to 100 units of ZeroAvia’s ZA2000RJ hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, while also deepening its investment in the advanced propulsion developer through participation in the company’s Series C fundraising round.

No details have been disclosed on the amount pledged by American during the latest funding round and ZeroAvia did not immediately respond to questions on the deal.


Source: ZeroAvia

ZA2000RJ powertrain is designed as retrofit option for regional jets

Fort Worth-headquartered American previously invested in ZeroAvia in 2022, alongside the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the two businesses as a precursor to the 100-unit order.

ZeroAvia is targeting service entry in 2025 for its 500-700kW ZA600 fuel cell powertrain for applications in the 10-20-seat class.

Flight tests of the ZA600 system have been carried out at its UK research and development facility using a modified Dornier 228 twin-turboprop. However, the aircraft has not flown since 18 April according to tracking data and postings on the company’s website.

Work on the higher-power 2-5MW-class ZA2000 system for regional turboprops is also under way, with goal of achieving service entry in 2027.

The ZA2000RJ for regional jet applications, such as the Bombardier CRJ700s flown by American on regional routes, is scheduled to follow in 2029.

“Advancing the transition of commercial aviation to a low-carbon future requires investments in promising technologies, including alternate forms of propulsion,” says American’s chief executive Robert Isom.