German start-up Evia Aero has topped up its order with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS), adding commitments for five more fuel cell conversion kits for the Britten-Norman BN2 Islander – and signing a new deal for a larger follow-on aircraft.
Evia Aero now has two separate letters of intent with CAeS: one for 15 conversion kits, and supplemental type certificates, for the nine-seat Islander; and another for the supply of 10 examples of a 19-seat passenger aircraft to be powered by a scaled-up version of the fuel cell propulsion system.
It has not yet been determined whether the larger model ordered by Evia Aero will be a modification to an existing design or a new clean-sheet aircraft.
But under the terms of the deal Evia Aero will work with CAeS to define the performance requirements for the 19-seater.
Earlier this year CAeS chief executive Paul Hutton said the 19-seater would arrive from 2027, with a clean-sheet design to follow in 2029. Both these aircraft would use liquid hydrogen as a fuel source, rather than gaseous hydrogen in the modified BN2.
CAeS was conducting analysis of several turboprop types for potential conversion, he indicated.
Florian Kruse, founder and chief executive of Evia Aero, says: “To meet the needs of the markets for the future, we have decided to order more conversion kits, and to set out with Cranfield Aerospace for a future with 19-seaters for regional traffic. As it stands, our order book is complete for the rest of the decade.”
Evia Aero has also previously placed an order for 25 Eviation Alice all-electric aircraft. It hopes to begin operating its Islander fleet from 2026 on short services in northern Europe.
Besides the investment in aircraft, it is also working with regional airports to deliver charging and hydrogen-production facilities.