H2FLY Aircraft development of its hydrogen-electric powertrain reaches another milestone

Ger­man-based H2FLY, a devel­op­er of hydro­gen fuel cell sys­tems for air­craft, announced today it has suc­cess­ful­ly passed on-ground fill­ing tests with the new­ly devel­oped liq­uid hydro­gen tank which is inte­grat­ed into its HY4 air­craft, reports a press release. The efforts are part of the Euro­pean project HEAVEN, a con­sor­tium of five part­ners to demon­strate the fea­si­bil­i­ty of using liq­uid, cryo­genic hydro­gen-pow­ered fuel cell pow­er­train in air­craft, led by H2FLY.

Designed and sup­plied by H2FLY’s project part­ner, Air Liq­uide, the fill­ing pro­ce­dure took place in prepa­ra­tion for the forth­com­ing cou­pling tests in which the liq­uid hydro­gen stor­age sys­tem will be cou­pled with the fuel cell sys­tem to form a com­plete hydro­gen-elec­tric pow­er­train. H2FLY led the test cam­paign on Air Liquide’s Cam­pus Tech­nolo­gies Greno­ble, in Sasse­nage, France along­side Air Liq­uide.

Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, co-Founder and CEO of H2FLY com­ment­ed, “This marks the next mile­stone in our pur­suit to dou­bling the range of our HY4 air­craft. It is a crit­i­cal step for our upcom­ing flight test cam­paign this sum­mer, which will demon­strate the fea­si­bil­i­ty of liq­uid hydro­gen as a fuel for medi­um and long-haul flight.”

Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo

This fill­ing mile­stone fol­lows the company’s announce­ment last Novem­ber that it had start­ed the mechan­i­cal inte­gra­tion of Air Liquide’s liq­uid hydro­gen tank into H2FLY’s fuel cell-pow­ered air­craft HY4.

For over 10 years, H2FLY has been research­ing and test­ing, result­ing in the devel­op­ment of the HY4, a four-seat air­craft with hydro­gen-elec­tric propul­sion, that first took flight in 2016. There have been sev­er­al key mile­stones across the past three years includ­ing:-

: In 2020 H2FLY was grant­ed a per­mit to fly the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of the HY4 air­craft, which fea­tured a ful­ly redun­dant pow­er­train archi­tec­ture. Across more than 100 take-offs the com­pa­ny suc­cess­ful­ly demon­strat­ed the applic­a­bil­i­ty of hydro­gen-elec­tric propul­sion solu­tions in avi­a­tion.

: In 2021 the com­pa­ny signed a strate­gic part­ner­ship with air­craft man­u­fac­tur­er Deutsche Air­craft that will see the com­pa­nies work togeth­er to fly a CS25 class air­craft pow­ered by H2FLY’s hydro­gen fuel cell tech­nol­o­gy. The cli­mate-neu­tral region­al air­craft demon­stra­tor is expect­ed to fly in 2025.

: Ear­li­er last year, the com­pa­ny com­plet­ed a cross-coun­try flight, from Stuttgart, Ger­many to Friedrichshafen, cov­er­ing 77 miles, mark­ing the first time a hydro­gen-pow­ered pas­sen­ger plane has flown between two com­mer­cial air­ports.

: Also last year, the com­pa­ny set what is believed to be a world alti­tude record for a hydro­gen air­craft, fly­ing at 7,230 feet, con­firm­ing the company’s posi­tion as a leader in this new cat­e­go­ry.

Fill­ing Pro­ce­dure in Oper­a­tion


H2FLY was found­ed by five engi­neers from the Ger­man Aero­space Cen­tre in Stuttgart and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ulm. The com­pa­ny has a strong net­work of Ger­man and Euro­pean part­ner­ships both in indus­try and sci­ence and is cur­rent­ly work­ing to accel­er­ate its tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion. In just a few years, hydro­gen-elec­tric air­craft are expect­ed to be able to trans­port 40 pas­sen­gers over dis­tances of up to 1,240 miles. 

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(images: H2FLY)


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