HyPoint claims to have dramatically extended zero-emission hydrogen flight range with its new ultra-light liquid hydrogen fuel tank. 

The company has partnered with aerospace engineering research and development specialist Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories (GTL) to integrate its advanced carbon composite BHL Cryotank with HyPoint’s fuel cell system. 

BHL Cryotanks has demonstrated a 75 per cent mass reduction compared to existing state-of-the-art metal or composite aerospace cryotanks, enabling hydrogen aircraft and eVTOL makers to store as much as ten times more liquid hydrogen fuel without adding mass. 

“Reducing weight is the most important factor for enabling longer-distance air travel with fewer stops to refuel,” said Dr Alex Ivanenko, founder and CEO of HyPoint. 

“This partnership with GTL offers aircraft and eVTOL makers a stronger and lighter tank than anything else on the market. Longer-haul aircraft may be able to utilise hydrogen for the first time while eVTOL makers can effectively multiply their flight range and operational time.” 

In February, HyPoint opened the doors to a new R&D and production facility in the UK, in Sandwich, Kent.

Over the next two years, the company will invest more than £11 million and grow its headcount to over 50 employees, in a scheme recognised by the UK Government at the Green Investment Summit in October 2021. 

GTL develops advanced composite prototypes and technologies for aerospace and has won development contracts with NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the US Air Force. 

BHL Cryotank measures 2.4m long with a 1.2m diameter and weighs 12kg, holding over 150kg of liquid hydrogen, and giving it a hydrogen storage ratio of at least 50 per cent – the weight of stored hydrogen fuel relative to total system weight – which is as much as 10 times greater than current fuel tanks. 

An aircraft equipped with GTL tank technology could achieve as much as four times the range of conventional aircraft that use aviation fuel, cutting aircraft operating costs by an estimated 50% on a dollar-per-passenger-mile basis.

“Based on our internal analysis of a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q300, which seats 50 to 56 passengers, the standard engine would typically support a range of 1,558km,” said Sergei Shubenkov, Co-founder and Head of R&D at HyPoint. 

“By implementing HyPoint’s system and a standard liquid hydrogen tank, the same aircraft could achieve 5 hours of flight time or a maximum range of 2,640km and with GTL’s tank, it could fly for 8.5 hours or a max range of 4,488km.”