Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power and AeroTEC announced the establishment of a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash. The center will focus on the test flight and certification of Universal Hydrogen’s conversion of a regional Dash-8 turboprop aircraft, scheduled to enter commercial service in 2025.
The new facility is to be built at the AeroTEC Moses Lake facility, which has long been a favorite location for electric aviation projects. Last year, a 9-passenger battery-powered Cessna 208B “eCaravan” took off from there, powered by a magniX EPU. Using Universal Hydrogen’s proprietary Dash-8 conversion, the companies plan to build the first commercially relevant hydrogen aircraft capable of serving 41 to 60 passengers on routes of up to 1,000 kilometers.
The concept of hydrogen fuel for airplanes is that it will be delivered using modular capsules. The advantage of these is that they can be transported to airports using the existing cargo network and cargo handling equipment at the airport, requiring no new infrastructure to be built.
Several interested customers have already been found for the project: Ravn Alaska, Icelandair and Spain’s Air Nostrum have signed letters of intent with Universal Hydrogen to convert their existing and future fleets to a hydrogen powertrain, and for contracts to long-term hydrogen supply. .
“This is a game-changer for the state and, frankly, for aviation,” said Emily Wittman, president and CEO of the Seattle-based Aerospace Futures Alliance, the leading voice for the aviation industry in the state whose members include Boeing and Alaska Airlines. . “The Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power and AeroTEC teams have demonstrated a clear and credible path to zero carbon aviation in the short term. Their investment in Moses Lake puts Washington at the forefront of these efforts. The opportunities for our state’s aviation sector are enormous.
“From his days as an air training center in WWII to an alternative fuels development and flight test center, Moses Lake, Wash., Led the way. aviation, energy and innovation, ”added Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power.