Natilus selects ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines

Kona, first of Natilus fleet, to have option to be powered by ZA600 engine for zero emission propulsion

Natilus selects ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines
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Natilus and ZeroAvia announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop hydrogen-electric engines for the Natilus Kona cargo aircraft.

"ZeroAvia’s ZA600 will be the sole hydrogen-electric propulsion source offered for the novel Kona short-haul feeder UAV with the partnership focused on delivering zero-emission and lower cost operations," says a release from Natilus.

The Natilus Kona, with its revolutionary blended-wing body (BWB) design, offers increased volume for hydrogen storage, potentially transforming the air cargo delivery industry to one with low-cost, low-carbon emissions, while also extending flight range, the release added. "The partnership with ZeroAvia will leverage their expertise in hydrogen-electric powertrain technology with Natilus’ unique design to create a scalable, long-range, and zero-emission air cargo delivery solution for the entire industry."

Natilus recently validated the performance of the BWB design with flight testing of a quarter-scale Kona prototype aircraft following three years of extensive wind-tunnel testing. ZeroAvia has now conducted eight test flights of its prototype ZA600, 600kW engine in a 19-seat testbed aircraft.

Aleksey Matyushev, Co-Founder and CEO, Natilus says: “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. 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, ZeroAvia adds: “Given Natilus’ impressive order book and corresponding technology development, working together on integrating the ZA600 as a line-fit engine for Kona can multiply the emissions and costs benefits that are already interesting cargo operators. We all depend on air cargo operators, and some communities depend on them absolutely, so improving the economics and environmental impacts of these operations while increasing service levels is a massive opportunity.”

Natilus currently has more than $6.8 billion in order commitments and 460+ aircraft in pre-orders. The company is now working on construction of a full-scale Kona technology demonstrator, which will have a wingspan of 85 feet (26 metres), the release added

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