05 May 2023

H2FLY and Partners Achieve Liquid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Aircraft Milestone

05 May 2023  by hydrogenfuelnews   

The company has announced the successful completion of a first-ever on-ground coupling test.

Hydrogen fuel cell developer H2FLY has announced that it has successfully completed its test of on-ground coupling for the first time.

Its newly created liquid H2 storage system was paired with the HY4 aircraft’s powertrain system.

The successful liquid hydrogen fuel cell test took place in Sassenage, France. There, H2FLY worked with its Air Liquide project partner with their Project HEAVEN, which experienced a notable step forward due to the success of this test.

The project is geared toward the design, development and integration of a powertrain that operates on high-power cryogenic and fuel cell technology for commercial aircraft.

“With the successful passing of the on-ground coupling tests, we have learnt that it will be possible to scale up our technology for a 40-seater aircraft,” said H2FLY founder and CEO Professor Josef Kallo. “We are thrilled to be making this crucial progress as we continue our efforts towards making sustainable medium and long-haul flight a reality.”

Project Heaven is a consortium of six companies working on liquid hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The consortium is led by H2FLY and is working together to demonstrate the feasibility of cryogenic liquid H2 use in aircraft.

The new liquid H2 system was created and supplied by Air Liquide using requirements laid out by H2FLY. That system has now been successfully coupled with the hydrogen fuel cell system on the ground.

The coupling is the last technological step needed in the development of a complete liquid hydrogen-powered powertrain in the HY4, the 4-seater demonstrator aircraft being used by H2FLY. That plane runs on H2 and fuel cells and produces no greenhouse gas emissions. It is used for the demonstration of H2-electric propulsion system feasibility for aircraft. The test was held at the Air Liquide Campus Technologies Grenoble in Sassenage, France.

Moving hydrogen fuel cell technology forward

Now that the coupling test has been successfully completed, the company has passed another hurdle along its path toward further ground and flight tests. Those campaigns will take place this summer, likely making the HY4 the first passenger aircraft to achieve flight with both liquid hydrogen and fuel cells.

The successful tests made H2FLY the first company to achieve the completion of on-ground coupling tests with aircraft-integrated LH2 tanks and fuel cell systems that proved its new hydrogen fuel cell system, storage systems, and designs for CS-23 and CS-25 aircraft.

The CS-23 and CS-25 are two types of regulations established by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to ensure that planes comply with required standards in order to obtain their certifications.

Moreover, H2FLY has achieved a level of specialist knowledge with respect to liquid H2 handling by working alongside Air Liquide in the development of novel safety concepts as they prepared to launch the coupling tests.

Another hydrogen fuel cell milestone passed.

This most recent achievement marks only the latest in a number of milestones the company has passed in completing tests with the integrated liquid H2 tank. The company has been making headlines over the last few months in the testing they have been completing for the liquid H2 storage and the hydrogen fuel cells.

H2FLY has been researching, testing and refining the technology for more than 8 years. The goal was for the development of the 4-seater HY4 aircraft to use H2-electric propulsion. That plane first flew in 2016, though at that time it was not using H2 in its liquid form.


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