Advanced Air Mobility News

Natilus to Use ZeroAvia’s Hydrogen-Electric Engine

Natilus to Use ZeroAvia’s Hydrogen-Electric Engine

Natilus has signed a strategic partnership with ZeroAvia to build hydrogen-electric engines for the Natilus Kona, an autonomous blended-wing body (BWB) cargo aircraft capable of carrying a 3.8-ton payload. 

Under the collaboration, which aims to achieve environmentally friendly and cost-efficient operations, ZeroAvia’s ZA600 600kW Hydrogen-Electric Engine will be the exclusive propulsion system utilized by the Kona, which is classified as a short-haul feeder unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Natilus also plans to leverage ZeroAvia’s expertise in hydrogen-electric powertrain technology, with the ultimate goal being to develop a scalable, long-range, and zero-emission air cargo delivery solution.

Aleksey Matyushev, co-founder and CEO of Natilus, acknowledged the positive environmental impact of adopting ZeroAvia’s ZA600 Hydrogen-Electric Engine. 

“Natilus has a long-term commitment to being a responsible steward of our environment, instituting practices that can protect the environment through continual improvements to save fuel and water, reduce waste, air emissions, noise, and material consumption,” he said. “The Natilus-ZeroAvia partnership goes further, bringing the talents and innovations of the two companies together to deliver much-needed innovation in the air cargo delivery industry and multiple solutions for our customers.”

Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, added that “integrating the ZA600 as a line-fit engine for Kona can multiply the emissions and costs benefits that are already interesting cargo operators.”

In April 2023, Natilus conducted flight testing using a quarter-scale version of the Kona after three years of extensive wind tunnel testing. The California-based firm already has over $6.8 billion in order commitments and pre-orders for more than 460 aircraft from major airlines and integrators, including Ameriflight and Volatus Aerospace.

ZeroAvia, meanwhile, has completed eight flight tests using its ZA600 600kW engine in a 19-seat testbed aircraft and plans to obtain certification by 2025. The company has also signed agreements with the likes of Textron Aviation and Otto Aviation. 

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