UK Hydrogen Regional Startup EAG Starts Fuel-Cell Spinoff

Electric Aviation Group
Credit: Electric Aviation Group

UK startup Electric Aviation Group is continuing its strategy of building out the enabling technologies for its planned zero-emissions 90-seat hydrogen hybrid-electric regional airliner, the H2ERA.

After establishing a joint venture with the University of Nottingham to develop megawatt-class electric propulsion systems, Electric Aviation Group (EAG) has created another spinoff to develop megawatt-scale fuel-cell systems for aerospace and non-aerospace applications.

The founding team of Smart Megawatt Stack Fuel Cell Systems comprises EAG CEO Kamran Iqbal and hydrogen experts from Imperial College London. The team includes professors Nigel Brandon and Anthony Kucernak, who have founded companies working in solid-oxide and printed-circuit fuel cells as well as catalysts and flow batteries. Also involved are senior lecturers Billy Wu and Huizhi Wang, who manage a portfolio of research projects at the university.

EAG will provide the new company with its patent portfolio and access to its aircraft program, while the co-founders will provide subject matter expertise in the hydrogen sector. Current large fuel-cell systems generate around 250 kW and EAG expects megawatt-class fuel-cell stack systems to also find application in other sectors such as heavy vehicles, ships and trains. 

The startup’s initial focus will be on development of a 2-megawatt hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system for the proposed H2ERA. The university collaborations are intended to support the startup’s plans to develop the 90-seat regional aircraft for entry into service by 2030.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.