Universal Hydrogen, a Los Angeles-based start-up, has taken on the ambitious goal of retrofitting a twin-engine de Havilland Canada DHC8-Q300 to run on hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen would be used to fuel electric motors supplied by Redmond, Washington-based magniX.

magniX raised the profile of their company and its products when it was selected by Vancouver-based Harbour Air to propel one of Harbour’s single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beavers during a test flight late last year, becoming the first successful flight of an electrically powered  commercial-category aircraft in the world. magniX since went on to provide the powerplant for a converted Cessna 208 Caravan that was, like Harbour’s electric Beaver, equipped with batteries as its source of energy.

“There is a clear need for a step change in emissions reduction in commercial aviation, and hydrogen-based, carbon-free power is the future of the industry,” said Universal Hydrogen co-founder and CEO Paul Eremenko. “When looking for our propulsion partner, magniX stood out as a clear proven leader with a track record of delivering the best in aerospace-grade electric propulsion. We look forward to watching the successful flights of our fully carbon-free Dash 8.”

“Universal Hydrogen, through its hydrogen transport and distribution infrastructure solution, is on a path to change the way regional flight is achieved and transform it from being powered by decades-old, expensive, polluting technology to low-cost clean solutions,” said magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. “The magniX team is inspired by the synergies between our mission and that of Universal Hydrogen. Together, we will bring scalable, proven technology to the next level of electric aviation.”

Image credit: magniX