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World's largest zero-emission plane coming


Alaska Airlines is partnering with ZeroAvia, a leader in developing zero-emission planes to create what may soon be the largest aircraft ever operated with zero-emission power, using a hydrogen-electric system.

The plane, a 76-seat Q400 regional turboprop, has been turned over to the engine developer by the airline for testing with hydrogen-fueled engines like the one above, being tested on a truck body.

The work is being done at ZeroAvia's U.S. facility at Payne Field, near Seattle. ZeroAvia's hydrogen-electric engine uses fuel cells to generate electricity from hydrogen fuel, before using that electricity to power electric motors which turn the aircraft propellers.

May 1, 2023; Everett, WA, USA; Alaska Airlines donates a Q400 to ZeroAvia for development of hydrogen propulsion technology at Paine Field. Demonstration of propellers driven by HyperTruck ground-test rig. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-Alaska Airlines

The company, based in the UK, has been retro-fitting larger and larger planes as it develops its engines. It has $10 billion in orders from airlines, and hopes that it can have planes with up to 19 seats and a 300-mile range in commercial service in 2025, with planes the size of the Q400 flying by 2027 with a 700-mile range.

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