US regional operator Ravn Alaska is looking to retrofit its De Havilland Dash 8 turboprop fleet with hydrogen-electric propulsion systems from ZeroAvia.

The provisional agreement covers acquisition of 30 of ZeroAvia’s ZA2000 powertrains – a high-power version of the development, delivering 2,500MW – to replace the Dash 8s’ engines and enable zero-emission flights.

Ravn uses Dash 8-100 and -300 variants on local Alaskan routes. Its network includes such locations as Dutch Harbor, Kenai, Cold Bay and Dillingham.

“We want to be at the forefront of adopting zero-emission aviation once [US] FAA-certified technologies come to market,” says Ravn Alaska chief Rob McKinney.

“The state is an important strategic target for early adoption of hydrogen-electric flight routes,” says ZeroAvia.

Ravn Dash 8-c-Matthew Bergen Ravn Alaska

Source: Matthew Bergen/Ravn Alaska

Dash 8 turboprops would be refitted with hydrogen-electric powertrains

It says Alaska depends strongly on aviation for interstate travel and its renewable energy resources offer the potential to generate ‘green’ hydrogen.

ZeroAvia is looking to introduce the ZA2000 powertrain, intended for 40- to 90-seat aircraft operating across 500nm of range, from around 2026.

It will complement the 600kW powertrain, aimed at nine- to 19-seat aircraft, which will enter service two years earlier.