H2FLY achieves major liquid hydrogen aviation milestone

H2FLY achieves major liquid hydrogen aviation milestone

September 14, 2023 0 By Tami Hood

The hydrogen company has successfully completed HY4 test flights.

Germany-based H2FLY announced the completion of the world’s first piloted flight of a liquid hydrogen fuel electric aircraft, the HY4.

Four test flights were completed in total.

A total of four test flights were completed, and the hydrogen-electric HY4 demonstrator aircraft was used for each one. The HY4 demonstrator aircraft was equipped with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen, which powered the aircraft.

The four test flights of the liquid hydrogen-powered aircraft are part of H2FLY’s test flight campaign. Of these four flights, one lasted for more than three hours.

According to a news release from H2FLY announcing the successful piloted flights, the results of the test flights show that utilizing liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen doubles the maximum range of the HY4 aircraft from 750 km (466 miles) to 1,500 km (923 miles). This marks a vital step toward delivering medium- and long-haul commercial flights without emissions.

“This achievement marks a watershed moment in the use of hydrogen to power aircraft,” said co-founder of H2FLY, Professor Josef Kallo. “Together with our partners, we have demonstrated the viability of liquid hydrogen to support medium and long-range emissions-free flight.”

The HY4 aircraft test flight using liquid hydrogen – Source H2FLY - H2FLY_HY4_LH2_2023_2-1024x683

The HY4 aircraft test flight using liquid hydrogen – Source: H2FLY

H2FLY will now focus on commercializing liquid hydrogen aviation.

With the completion of the flight testing behind them, H2FLY will focus on commercialization. In 2024, the company will open its Hydrogen Aviation Center at Stuttgart Airport. The Center will become a focal point for the future of Europe’s hydrogen economy and aviation industry. It
will provide both liquid hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell aircraft integration facilities.

Kallo says that H2FLY is starting the “critical mission of decarbonizing commercial aviation” and is currently “looking ahead to scaling up” the company’s technology for regional aircraft as well as other applications.

A success for Project HEAVEN

hydrogen news ebookThe successful campaign is a significant milestone for the company and its partners. It is the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government supported consortium led by H2FLY and includes partners Air Liquide, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, Fundación Ayesa, and EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies.

Project HEAVEN was assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of using cryogenic liquid hydrogen in aircrafts.

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