Hydrogen propulsion also in flight

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Two months ago, a six-person Piper Malibu 350 aircraft made history in the skies of England. This aircraft was the first commercial-scale aircraft in the world to be powered by a hydrogen-powered wider school circle with great promise. In a few months, the distance will be 400 kilometers with one takeoff and half the operating cost.

Two trends are outlined in the development of the aircraft of the future. One tries again in everything, and the other only replaces the drive system. The recipe is for electric motors, inverters and batteries in general. The biggest concern here is the small capacity of batteries today. You need a power plant that mostly generates electricity in the air during the flight, and even a car engine can be good for that.

Actually, it’s a half-way, it makes the flight a little greener. It turns green a lot if the power plant is not conventional, such as hydrogen cell power generation The hydrogen cell itself is already accepted in various areas of transport. In addition to cars, boats, and trains, Pipistrel has also flown a lap for four years with a four-person hydrogen-powered tandem, but since then, not much has been heard of hydrogen-powered flying.

The development company ZeroAvia was founded a few years ago, mostly by people named Russian. They have applied for the British government’s HyFlyer project, which supports zero-emission aviation. Not only have they won money, but they have also contributed to various institutes working on the subject and are also collaborating with the Toyota carmaker. Among them, the 350 version of the Piper 6-seater Malibu was the sympathetic of the old well-proven aircraft, they changed it. First, the drive system was replaced with a standard electrical system powered by batteries. They rose into the air with him for the first time this summer.

The next step to the batteries is to replace the hydrogen power plant instead. Hydrogen is introduced into fuel cells where electricity and water are generated. Hydrogen is stored at high pressure, the tank is visible under the right wing for the time being. As the pilot on the virgin flight, the head of the company, CEO Valery Miftakov ZeroAvia, sat behind the wheel. Present was the new British Minister of Aviation and Maritime Affairs, Robert Courts, he filled a piece of hydrogen fuel at the touch of a button.

On this day, not only flight was a world sensation, but a hydrogen-producing and refueling moving truck at Cranfield Airport. The latter was developed by the European Maritime Energy Center primarily to power commercial aircraft. Conversely, ZeroAvia will mount the larger hydrogen tank needed on the wing in the future. The crown for this mode will be put by ZeroAvia if they fly from Cork to San Francisco-Los Angeles at the end of the year.

Then come the bigger machines, they promise, in the coming years 20 – 50 – 100 – 200 people. All this will completely transform regional aviation in twenty years.

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