Hydrogen-electric transport in Red Sea area

Hydrogen-electric aircraft developer Zeroavia is to test and develop zero-emission travel in the Red Sea area. The company is partnering with The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) in Saudi Arabia to offer hydrogen-electric transport for tourists.

Business Traveller reports that Zeroavia will explore the possibility of converting Cessna Caravan seaplanes using its hydrogen-electric propulsion technology. That technology has already been flight tested in six-seat PAX airframe, while a 19-seat testbed flight is imminent.

The system, targeting certification to support commercial operations of 9-19 seat aircraft, including the Cessna Caravan, will be able to fly 300 nautical miles as early as 2024. Zeroavia is also working on a powertrain for 40-80 seat aircraft with up to 1,000 nm range for market entry in 2026.

TRSDC plans to operate a fleet of around 30 seaplane variants of the Cessna Caravan to transport guests across the destination which is expected to open early next year.

Zeroavia said that it has identified hydrogen-electric powertrains – where fuel cells use hydrogen in a chemical reaction to generate electricity which powers electric motors – as “the most practical, economical, and furthest reaching solution for reducing aviation’s climate change and clean air impacts”.