Universal Hydrogen to be wound down

Universal Hydrogen, one of the main developers of hydrogen-powered propulsion for commercial aviation alongside ZeroAvia, announced on Sunday that it is to be wound down having burned through cash reserves and failed to source alternative funding.

On March 2, 2023, Universal Hydrogen successfully flew the largest fixed-wing aircraft to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with the first flight of its modified Dash 8-300 from Grant County International Airport. Since then, the aircraft had performed more than 10 further test flights as well as a “record-setting” ferry flight to Mojave, where the test programme was based. The company had also acquired a second aircraft, an ATR 72-500, from Executive Jet Support, which was used to demonstrate its modular hydrogen loading platform.

Mark Cousin, the firm’s CEO and Chairman told fellow publication FlightGlobal that, “We confirm the unfortunate news that Universal Hydrogen […] has made the difficult decision to wind up the company,” on June 30. Co-Founder Jon Gordon added that, “Despite everyone’s best efforts, UH2 proved unable to secure additional funding to move forward.

“Nonetheless, I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved, and grateful to the 100s of engineers, and investors and partners, that supported our efforts. It was nothing short of heroic. We demonstrated the feasibility of hydrogen aviation at a commercially significant scale, with 13 successful flights. We obtained Phase 1 certification from the FAA, and garnered interest from 17 airlines across 12 countries.”