Cars

This electric bullet plane will travel 1,850 km without refueling powered by a hydrogen engine

The landscape of commercial aviation it will be very different in the not too distant future, as evidenced by the many technical and commercial proposals that have been appearing in recent years to electrify the sector. From small electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxis to large aircraft powered by unconventional propulsion systems or alternative fuels, the revolution in aeronautics promises to be as exciting as that of electric cars. In this context, the Celera 500L It is one of the most innovative electric aircraft. It promises remarkable performance, being powered only by hydrogen and together with a large capacity for passengers and cargo.

The Celera 500L is the result of a collaboration between ZeroAvia and Otto Aviation. The former is an expert in hydrogen electric motors while the latter has designed a new fuselage that looks like a bullet or torpedo, capable of impressive range and speed. With the addition of the ZeroAvia powertrain, it will be able to offer that same performance with zero emissions, which makes a lot of sense in the new era of commercial aviation.

Celera 500L hydrogen electric bullet plane Zero Avia-interior1
The use of hydrogen instead of conventional fuel will take away from the Celera 500L part of its autonomy, although it will continue to reach 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 kilometers).

The main innovation introduced by Otto Aviation is a design based on the laminar flow (uniform levels of airflow distributed in layers) that reduce its aerodynamic drag. The aircraft’s length-to-width ratio optimizes this flow, resulting in a drag reduction of over 50%, compared to other aircraft of the same size. This allows a range that reaches transcontinental travel and a cruising speed of more than 740km/h with increased passenger and cargo capacity

Although Otto Aviation’s aircraft was designed with a fuel-saving approach in mind, by adding a hydrogen electric propulsion system like ZeroAvia’s you will be able to operate with zero emissions. Both companies are now focused on integrating the ZA600 powertrain into the Celera 500L.

ZeroAvia developed this engine from 600kw as part of the HyFlyer II project, backed by the British government with the intention of integrating it in 2024 into a passenger plane capable of traveling 800 kilometers. As test beds, Zero Avia will use two Dornier 228 aircraft, one in the UK and one in California, where they are currently being fitted with this hydrogen electric powertrain.

Celera 500L hydrogen electric bullet plane Zero Avia-interior2
Celera 500L interior: The aircraft’s unusual layout offers enough space in the fuselage to store large volumes of hydrogen.

The use of hydrogen instead of conventional fuel will take away from the Celera 500L part of its autonomy although it will continue to reach the 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 kilometers) which is still an impressive figure for an airliner using an alternative propulsion system.

The unusual design of the plane offers enough space in the fuselage to store large volumes of hydrogen, according to ZeroAvia. As hydrogen availability increases, the Celera 500L is also expected to be more cost-effective compared to conventional models. ZeroAvia’s ultimate goal is to operate hydrogen aircraft with capacities between 40 and 80 seats by 2026.

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