Stuttgart-based H2FLY has begun the integration of a liquid hydrogen storage system into its HY4 aircraft, with plans for ground tests in 2023.
The liquid hydrogen tank passed a vibration and LH2 leakage testing phase at Air Liquide and marks a significant step forward for Project HEAVEN. The project was established to design, develop, and integrate a powertrain based on high-power fuel cell and cryogenic technology, into an existing aircraft for testing in-flight operation.
The start of the mechanical integration process is believed to have drawn H2FLY closer to achieving higher aircraft ranges, which is seen as critical in the pursuit of achieving zero-emissions medium and long-haul flight.
H2FLY supplies the complete fuel cell system supporting the HY4 aircraft, along with the
integration platform and the overall system architecture and controls of the fuel cell and
hydrogen storage system. As the development lead, H2FLY expects to play a key role in the complete coordination of the system implementation to guarantee each of the system parts is properly adapted, ensuring safe functionality.
Other partners to join the HEAVEN project include Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, and DLR.
Following the integration, the aircraft is planned to enter a rigorous program of ground testing in early 2023 and is expected to be the world’s first passenger aircraft to fly using liquid hydrogen.
Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY, said: “Passing the vibration and LH2-
leakage tests marks a big step forward for delivering true zero-emissions flight with
increased range – we have now been able to kickstart the mechanical integration process,
drawing even closer to this next exciting flight test phase. For the past 10 years, at H2FLY we have been focused on developing and delivering new technology and now we look forward to completing the integration process so we can begin ground testing in preparation for the world’s first commercial liquid hydrogen-electric aircraft.”