Commercial aviation decarbonisation innovator ZeroAvia has performed the first commercial-scale electric-powered flight in the UK.

As part of Project HyFlyer, the Piper M-class six-seater aircraft is a significant milestone in UK Government-funded project to develop hydrogen-electric powertrain.

ZeroAvia completed the flight from its base at Cranfield Airport.

Last year, the company received a £2.7m government grant for the development of zero-emission aviation.

The grant is funding ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer project and part of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme, which is supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, ATI and Innovate UK.

The successful test represents a significant milestone for ZeroAvia and the UK’s net-zero and green aviation ambitions.

ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov said: “Today’s flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero-emission flight closer to reality.

“We all want the aviation industry to come back after the pandemic on a firm footing to be able to move to a net-zero future, with a green recovery.

“That will not be possible without realistic, commercial options for zero-emission flight, something we will bring to the market as early as 2023.”

In addition to HyFlyer, ZeroAvia plans to develop commercially relevant, certified 10-20 seater aircraft in the next three years and 50-100 seat configurations by the end of the decade.