The plane crash of Malibu Mirage that happened on Thursday 29th April, four days after ZeroAvia restarted hydrogen-powered flights; internal investigation has already started to determine the cause behind. The company said it will cooperate with the independent investigation conducted by the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).
The incident is expected to delay the conclusion of the HyFlyer 1 demonstration program, which was due to be completed over the next few weeks with longer-range flights of up to 250 miles. However, ZeroAvia said that it does not expect any negative impact to its HyFlyer 2 program’s objective of bringing a 10- to 20-seat hydrogen-powered aircraft into commercial service by 2023, and subsequently a 50-seat airliner by 2026. The company believes its technology could support a 100-seater aircraft by 2030.
The California-based company said that its internal investigation will be led by its head of airworthiness Dominic Cheater, who was formerly chief of the office of airworthiness with helicopter operator Babcock. It claimed that the investigation team is independent of the HyFlyer 1 program’s design and operations team and said that it will collaborate fully with the AAIB, which has yet to issue a statement on the incident.
About the Project
Just last September, ZeroAvia’s modified Piper Malibu Mirage made history by after a short trip around the Cranfield Airport. The plane was powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, a groundbreaking achievement for the program as it is claimed to be the first-ever flight with zero-emission fuel for a “commercial-grade” passenger aircraft.
British Airways is keen to see the development of development of hydrogen-electric powered vehicles. Parent company IAG wants to reach zero emissions on short-haul operations by 2050. So, ZeroAvia’s projects could prove crucial in this mission.