Is hydrogen power the future of aviation?
On January 19th, ZeroAvia flew the largest aircraft in the world powered by a hydrogen-electric engine. This marks the maiden flight of their hydrogen-powered testbed, a 19-seat Dornier 228 aircraft with a full-sized prototype hydrogen-electric engine on the left wing. All systems performed as expected and places the company on the path to a certifiable configuration to be submitted in 2023.
How does hydrogen work in aviation?
Since the Hindenburg disaster, hydrogen has not been used for manned flight in a rigid airship that uses lighter-than-air gases for lifting, but that doesn’t mean that hydrogen wouldn’t be a good fuel source for modern passenger aircraft.
Hydrogen as a fuel can be used in two different ways. It can be combusted in modified gas turbine engines or other internal combustion engines, and it can also be used to power a fuel cell to generate electricity to power a propeller. This method is ZeroAvia’s approach to it’s aircraft.
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