The goal of H2FLY, a company that develops hydrogen fuel cell technology, is to “drive emissions-free flight.” H2FLY was founded in 2015 by five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm.
H2FLY predicts that, in just a few years, hydrogen-electric aircraft will be able to transport 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000km.
Onboard its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, the company tests its cell and powerplant technologies. The four-seat HY4 made its inaugural flight in 2016 and became the first aircraft powered by hydrogen to soar over 7,000 feet. Later, it was transported for Aero Expo on a 77-mile cross-country flight from Stuttgart to Friedrichshafen Airport.
This aircraft has successfully demonstrated the applicability of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems in aviation.
H2FLY plans to supply the world’s first certified hydrogen-electric powertrain for the upcoming Deutsche Aircraft D328 turboprop airplane. The technology will be used in a 100% hydrogen-powered, zero-emissions D328 demonstration scheduled to fly in 2025. The Co-founder and CEO of H2FLY Josef Kallo presently lead a staff of over 30 people at the Stuttgart-based enterprise.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFICULTIES AND MONETARY RISKS OF EXPANDING HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGY?
There are several obstacles to get through before takeoff is feasible when switching to hydrogen as an aviation fuel. As a disruptive breakthrough, it will need substantial research and development, investment from government and business, and regulation to guarantee that hydrogen-powered infrastructure and aircraft are safe, economical, and environmentally beneficial.
Josef Kallo declares that to impart knowledge of the system’s design with the appropriate functionality to the finished result. It will require extensive fuel and engine component development. Small parts like contacts, breakers, cables with the proper insulation and shielding, the proper communications parts, bus information, and stability are some of the difficulties. These are the problems; the fuel cell is not the cause.
The financial risk is determining how to design the proper component that can be certified and will be used in a product.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS IN THE HY4 PROJECT?
The Co-founder and CEO of H2FLY Josef Kallo see that energy efficiency is the currency of the next decade. And if we really want to do something and move from fossil fuels to renewables, hydrogen is the only way to go.