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The six-seater hydrogen fuel cell aircraft took flight at Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire | Credit: ZeroAvia @MichaelHolder The UK’s "first ever" successful test flight of a commercial-scale, electric aircraft took place at Cranfield Airport yesterday, green aviation specialist ZeroAvia has confirmed. Yesterday’s successful test means the six-seater battery electric aircraft has become Europe’s largest zero emission plane currently flying, according to the company, which is now planning to carry out longer-distance test flights from its Bedfordshire base later this summer. The plane has been developed as part of the government-funded HyFlyer project, which is set to eventually culminate in a 250-300 nautical mile test journey from the Orkney Islands in Scotland to an as-yet unspecified destination elsewhere in the UK, according to the project partners. Having demonstrated its new electric drive train the company intends to develop a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and convert a 19-seat aircraft to run on hydrogen that could be in commercial use as early as 2023. Developing climate-friendly commercial aircraft is seen as a major technological challenge, with the global aviation sector accounting for around two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and growing. As a first step, the Hyflyer project therefore aims […]

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