The better path? Hydrogen. “We zoomed in on a hydrogen-cell powertrain.” For an initial testbed, Miftakhov chose a Piper Matrix—smaller than the goal, but with three advantages. First of all, it was an existing, known quantity. Miftakhov is a fixed- and rotor-wing pilot himself, so he had great familiarity with the Piper series. Second, “it’s a pretty efficient airframe,” he said. It’s also a sizable one, and able to fit the systems needed to make for a good testing platform.