H2FLY, a Stuttgart-based company that develops hydrogen fuel cell technologies for aircraft, announced it has achieved another step towards commercial aviation with zero emissions.
The hydrogen-electric aviation company H2FLY had announced that its cutting-edge HY4 aircraft, which is currently operated using pressurised gaseous hydrogen, will be modified to receive a new liquid hydrogen tank, which will double the HY4 aircraft’s range capability, as key players in the global aviation and aerospace industries gathered for the Farnborough International Airshow (18-22 July).
The aircraft will start a rigorous programme of ground testing early in 2023 after the integration of the new tank and fuel cells, and it is anticipated that this will be the first commercial aeroplane in the world to fly utilising liquid hydrogen.
The team will handle liquid hydrogen on board for the first time after attaining this milestone, which will also improve the range. The development of the world’s first entirely hydrogen-electric powertrain, integrating fuel cells and liquid hydrogen, is a key step towards H2FLY’s objective of attaining real zero-emissions medium and long-haul flying.
An aircraft that uses liquid hydrogen has the potential to transform the way we travel between cities, regions and countries, delivering true zero-emissions flight on medium and long-haul flights. Liquid hydrogen has huge advantages over the alternative pressurised hydrogen gas, not least because it becomes possible to carry a far greater quantity on board an aircraft. The result is that significantly longer ranges are possible. At H2Fly we’ve always been focused on delivering and demonstrating new technology, rather than just talking about it. As we head into this exciting new phase for the company we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition and proving this important new technologyCommenting on the advantages of hydrogen-electric propulsion, Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY said
H2FLY has been investigating, experimenting, and perfecting for more than ten years, leading to the creation of the HY4, a four-seat aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion that made its debut in 2016. Over the previous two years, there have been several significant turning points, including:
- In 2020, H2FLY received permission to operate the most recent HY4 model, which has a fully redundant powertrain architecture. The business successfully illustrated the use of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems in aviation during the course of more than 90 takeoffs.
- In order to fly a CS25 class aircraft fueled by H2FLY’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, the business and aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft forged strategic cooperation in 2021. The 2025 target date for the climate-neutral regional aircraft calls for a 2,000 km range and 40 passenger seats
- The business performed the first cross-country flight using hydrogen power between two commercial airports earlier this year, travelling 77 miles from Stuttgart, Germany, to Friedrichshafen.
- Additionally this year, the business established what is thought to be a hydrogen aircraft global altitude record, flying at 7,230 feet, solidifying its status as a pioneer in this new category.
The first certified, entirely hydrogen electric aircraft powertrain is what H2FLY GmbH, which was created by five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm, is aiming to bring to market. H2FLY will usher in an age of zero-emission, sustainable air transport by advancing hydrogen fuel cell technology. The business creates and tests hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aircraft, and it is a world leader in doing so. The HY4, the first passenger hydrogen-electric aircraft in the world, had its maiden flight in 2016, proving the viability and potential of this technology for aviation in the future.
.With the assistance of German and European partnerships, H2FLY is now working to expedite the development and commercialization of its technology. It has a strong network of partners in business and science. 40 passengers are anticipated to be able to travel up to 2,000 kilometres in just a few years on the the hydrogen-electric aircraft (1,240 miles).