Hydrogen-powered planes: could be the future of flights

Currently, 3.6 percent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to aviation. Kerosene is a fuel used by contemporary aircraft, which releases dangerous carbon dioxide into the environment. What if there was an alternative?

The goal of H2FLY, a company that develops hydrogen fuel cell technology, is to “drive emissions-free flight.” H2FLY was founded in 2015 by five engineers from
the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm. 

H2FLY predicts that, in just a few years, hydrogen-electric aircraft will be able to transport 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000km.

Onboard its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, the company tests its cell and powerplant technologies. The four-seat HY4 made its inaugural flight in 2016 and became the first aircraft powered by hydrogen to soar over 7,000 feet. Later, it was transported for Aero Expo on a 77-mile cross-country flight from Stuttgart to Friedrichshafen Airport. 

This aircraft has successfully demonstrated the applicability of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems in aviation. 

H2FLY plans to supply the world’s first certified hydrogen-electric powertrain for the upcoming Deutsche Aircraft D328 turboprop airplane. The technology will be used in a 100% hydrogen-powered, zero-emissions D328 demonstration scheduled to fly in 2025. The Co-founder and CEO of H2FLY Josef Kallo presently lead a staff of over 30 people at the Stuttgart-based enterprise. 

HY4 hydrogen powered
HY4 Hydrogen-powered aircraft
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