ZeroAvia, the world’s leading innovator in decarbonising aviation, is to open a major facility at Cotswold Airport at Kemble. The company will use the facility as its base for developing the breakthrough HyFlyer II project, a hydrogen-electric powered aircraft which solely emits water vapour during flight, potentially making it the future of carbon zero air travel.
The news follows an announcement last week that ZeroAvia has secured an additional £15 million to kick start development a large engine for a 50+ seater zero emission aircraft.
This round of investment brings the company’s total private funding to close to £40 million. This round was led by Horizons Ventures, with participation from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Shell Ventures, Summa Equity, SYSTEMIQ and with British Airways joining as a new investor.
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The HyFlyer II Project will put the UK at the forefront of global efforts to decarbonise aviation, enabling a significant opportunity to meet the country’s 2050 Net Zero strategy, and it will all be happening here in Gloucestershire.
ZeroAvia recently secured a substantial grant of £12.3 million in Government funding through the Aerospace Technology Institute. The HyFlyer II programme is on course to deliver a breakthrough 19-seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft that is market-ready by 2023.
The grant award follows ZeroAvia’s successful world first short flight of a commercial-grade 6-seater hydrogen-electric aircraft last September. Its future goal is be flight ready for commercial 500-mile trips; the equivalent of a round trip from London to Edinburgh; by 2023.
As a result of the grant and the continual expansion of the project, ZeroAvia had been looking for new aviation premises and picked Cotswold Airport as its new location due to its long runway, ample hangar space facilities, robust infrastructure and flexible approach.
Gloucestershire has a long and proud history of pioneering aviation engineering. The Inward Investment team at GFirst LEP and Cotswold District Council are supporting Zeroavia in delivering its mission.
The Inward Investment team at GFirst LEP was created in 2019 as a result of collaborative funding from the European Regional Development fund and Gloucestershire based Local Authorities with its key purpose to attract foreign investment to the region which would help drive future jobs and sustain a healthy economy.
Sergey Kiselev, VP Europe, ZeroAvia, said: “We were very impressed with what Cotswold Airport, local talent and support can offer the company as a base for the delivery of the HyFlyer II project. It’s a beautiful part of the country and we’re looking forward to seeing more of it from the air as we take zero emission aviation towards commercial adoption with this project.”
Chris Lau, Head of Inward Investment at GFirst LEP, added: “ZeroAvia’s investment is a testament to Gloucestershire’s strong expertise and track record in the aerospace sector.”
Rob Weaver, Chief Executive at Cotswold District Council “Attracting a business at the cutting edge of environmental technology is exciting for the District and exactly what our recently-adopted Green Economic Growth Strategy seeks to achieve. We look forward to continuing to support ZeroAvia as their technology develops and their business grows.”
Suzannah Harvey, CEO of Cotswold Airport “We are thrilled to welcome ZeroAvia to Cotswold Airport, this alliance will not only spearhead a stratospheric leap in carbon-neutral commercial travel, but also could go a long way in tackling the global climate crisis. ZeroAvia are a huge asset to Cotswold Airport and the region and we will be working with them to attain carbon neutral status at the airport over the next ten years.”