The AVMAX Company Orderede 20 Universal Hydrogen Converter Kits for Regional Airlines
On Tuesday, Avmax Aircraft Leasing and Universal Hydrogen announced a deal to convert 20 regional aircraft to run on "green" hydrogen.
There are two conversion kits available from Universal Hydrogen. One is for retrofitting ATR 72-600 turboprops and one is for retrofitting De Havilland Dash 8-300 turboprops.
“With nearly 300 Dash-8s and 50 ATRs servicing over 120 airports, Canada's regional aviation market is home to the largest turboprop fleet in the world,” said Paul Eremenko, Universal Hydrogen's co-founder and CEO.
As well as providing maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the converted aircraft, Avmax and Universal Hydrogen are considering forming a partnership. Avmax was founded in 1976 and offers a variety of services beyond aircraft leasing, such as maintenance, repair, overhaul, engineering, and avionics.
Universal Hydrogen has agreed to supply Avmax's fleet of converted aircraft with hydrogen fuel in addition to supplying the 20 conversion kits.
As part of Universal Hydrogen's fuel system concept, refillable hydrogen capsules are transported from fuel-production facilities directly to the aircraft, where they are loaded into the rear fuselage and placed in a compartment replacing the last two rows of passenger seats. Fuel cells will be installed on the aircraft's existing propellers and will be powered by lightweight, modular fuel capsules connected through the aircraft's dorsal fins to two nacelles.
According to Scott Greig, senior vice president and head of Avmax Aircraft Leasing, Universal Hydrogen's regional conversion kits will allow our fleet to run on green hydrogen, while Universal Hydrogen is enabling cost-competitive and scalable logistics for hydrogen fuel. With our zero-emission products and services, we set ourselves apart from other airlines in Canada. To fully decarbonize the industry, green hydrogen is the only solution."
Universal Hydrogen's conversion kits have been ordered by a number of customers, including Avmax. ATR 72-600 regional turboprops have been ordered by Massachusetts-based regional carrier Connect Airlines for conversion. In addition, the company is working with Deutsche Aircraft in Germany to see if the modular hydrogen capsules can be installed on the Dornier 328 regional airliner. A hydrogen conversion kit from Universal Hydrogen is expected to be delivered by 2025, according to the company.