A consortium led by H2FLY, a German-based developer of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, has successfully completed the world’s first piloted flight of an electric aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen.
The experimental flight took place using the “HY4” demonstrator aircraft, departing from Maribor, Slovenia.
Equipped with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell system and employing cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen as its energy source, the aircraft demonstrated its efficiency during multiple test flights.
One of the notable outcomes of these tests is the prospect of greatly extending the aircraft’s range.
By replacing gaseous hydrogen with liquid hydrogen, the HY4 aircraft’s maximum range could be doubled, reaching 1,500 kilometres.
Professor Josef Kallo, Co-Founder of H2FLY, said: “This achievement marks a watershed moment in the use of hydrogen to power aircraft.
“We are now looking ahead to scaling up our technology for regional aircraft and other applications, beginning the critical mission of decarbonising commercial aviation.”