Hydrogen-powered aircrafts could be in the skies by as early as 2030

Hydrogen-powered aircrafts could be in the skies by as early as 2030

June 28, 2019 1 By Amanda Giasson

By 2030, over 20,000 VTOL flying taxis are predicted to be in operation worldwide.

Hydrogen-powered aircrafts may only be a decade away from becoming reality. According to predictions from a Hydrogen Council Report 2018: “Hydrogen meets digital,” it is estimated that by 2030, of the more than 20,000 vertical take-off and landing taxis predicted to be flying globally, as many as 8,000 of these VTOLs could be powered by hydrogen.

Hydrogen could deliver a better power system to these vehicles compared to batteries.

Today, there are already prototypes of electric flying taxis, such as Uber’s Uber Elevate, which the company hopes to launch in 2023.

However, in the long run, cH2ange – an initiative by Air Liquide – has said in a video, recently posted on its Twitter, that compared to electric batteries, hydrogen can help to lower the vehicle weight, carry more passengers and cover distances two to three times longer, without having to recharge.

The initiative goes on to say in its video that “with hydrogen, autonomous flying taxis will become a reliable, efficient and zero-emission mobility solution.”

cH2ange, which seeks to foster dialogue around the role hydrogen can play in clean energy, energy transition, mobility and innovation, isn’t the only group that believes in hydrogen-powered aircrafts.

Earlier this month, Hydrogen Fuel News reported that Alaka’i had unveiled its full-scale model of its hydrogen fuel cell flying vehicle, Saki, the first air mobility vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Air Liquide believes that fully hydrogen powered aircrafts are less than two decades away.

At the Pairs Air Show 2019, Pierre Crespi, Innovation Director Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, answered questioned regarding the future of hydrogen powering aircrafts. Crespi stated that “By 2030 – 2035 we can imagine to have hydrogen powering a large aircraft.”

In the above video tweeted by Air Liquide Group, Crespi further explained that by 2030 – 2035, hydrogen would not only be used for energy onboard but also for propulsion. Moreover, by this point, it wouldn’t yet be used to power a “very huge aircraft” but one that can carry “50 to 100 passengers.”

Hydrogen-powered aircraft - wing of plane“We are now developing the technology for both the equipment on board the aircraft, but also all the equipment that would be needed on the airports,” Crespi added.