Deutsche Aircraft and H2FLY have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine resources and collaborate in researching and developing hydrogen fuel cell technology for regional commercial aircraft.
At the heart of the project is a Dornier 328 twin turboprop aircraft that will be converted to become a demonstrator aircraft with its maiden flight scheduled for 2025. The goal of the project is to deliver carbon-neutral hydrogen-powered regional air travel for an aircraft up to 40 seats in capacity. The joint venture plans to equip the demonstrator aircraft with a 1.5MW hydrogen system, making it the most powerful hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft to date. H2FLY has already successfully demonstrated effective hydrogen fuel cell technology with its four-seat hydrogen-electric-powered HY4 which has carried out over 70 successful take-offs and landings, and which has a range of 750km. The project will also see the two companies combine to integrate the power system into the aircraft as well as defining the specific technical and certification requirements for fuel cell systems in EASA’s large aircraft class (“CS25”). The project is designed to complement the German Federal Government’s Aviation Strategy.
Commenting on the announcement, Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO, H2FLY, said: “Flying provides an incredibly important opportunity for humankind, but today that opportunity comes at a significant cost to our planet. Hydrogen fuel cell technology provides an opportunity for us to completely eliminate carbon and NOx emissions from regional flights and the technology to make that happen is closer than most people think.”