Hydrogen-Electric Aircraft Demonstrator From H2FLY Set New Altitude Records
Courtesy Interesting Engineering
H2Fly, a company that develops hydrogen fuel cell applications for aviation, reported on April 19 that it has set a new world altitude record for hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft. On April 13, H2Fly flew its HY4 demonstrator to a height of 7,230 feet, and on April 12, it flew it 77 miles between Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen, making it the first time anyone has piloted a hydrogen-electric aircraft between two major airports.
From April 27 to April 30, the aircraft flew to Friedrichshafen to participate in the Aero Friedrichshafen airshow. The company will display the HY4 for the first time to the general public at the appearance. As a long-term partner of H2Fly, Stuttgart Airport has played a key role in supporting the company's infrastructure with its testing of the aircraft.
“As a result of the numerous projects on sustainable mobility in aviation, I am confident that the Friedrichshafen Airport will be able to create the right environment to attract innovative aviation companies,” Claus-Dieter Wehr said.
More than 90 takeoffs have been executed by the four-seat HY4 during several flight campaigns demonstrating the applicability of hydrogen-electric propulsion. Besides serving as a test platform, it also provides the foundation for developing a hydrogen-electric, 40-seat Dornier 328, which it plans to develop in collaboration with Deutsche Aircraft for its first flight in 2025, followed by certification under EASA Part CS-25 rules seven to eight years later.
With the HY4, H2Fly demonstrated its ability to build a fully redundant powertrain with two hydrogen storage systems, as well as redundancy in fuel cells, cooling, and power distribution. During the test program, the company believes it has demonstrated its ability to close the technology gap between a production aircraft and a larger aircraft with the propulsion system.