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Hydrogen startup ZeroAvia has a zero-emission vision, but its next plane is a hybrid


ZeroAvia has raised $115 million from United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways and Amazon on a promise to fly a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell regional passenger plane as soon as next year. Now the startup has set itself a slightly less high-flying goal: building a hybrid aircraft.
This new experimental plane, which is under construction in California, is a 19-seat Dornier 228 that will have “a hybrid engine configuration that incorporates both the company’s hydrogen-electric powertrain and a conventional engine,” according to a recent press release.
ZeroAvia declined to tell TechCrunch why it had altered its plans. A hybrid system could reassure regulators that the Dornier can fly safely for tests, while the company continues to develop the world’s largest aviation hydrogen fuel cells.
The decision to build a hybrid plane follows a previously unreported statement from the UK’s Air Accident Investi …

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