The first hydrogen-powered Dash 8 takes to the air

The first take-off of the Universal Hydrogen Dash 8-300
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Universal Hydrogen, an American start-up, has successfully conducted a test flight of its hydrogen fuel cell-powered De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 aircraft, named “Lightning McClean.” The aircraft took off from Grant County International Airport near Moses Lake and reached an altitude of 1,000 meters during the 15-minute test flight.

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The Dash 8-300 is equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123 engine and a Magni650 power plant, which is manufactured by the Everett-based MagniX. The hydrogen fuel cells directly power the aircraft’s electric motors, bypassing the need to recharge batteries.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source for aircraft has been gaining popularity in recent years, as it offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen gas into electricity through a chemical reaction, producing water and heat as byproducts. This process emits no greenhouse gases, making it an environmentally friendly option.

The first take-off of the Universal Hydrogen Dash 8-300
The first take-off of the Universal Hydrogen Dash 8-300

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the aviation industry accounts for approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the industry has been exploring various ways to reduce its carbon footprint, including the adoption of alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen.

Despite the promising potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. For example, the storage and transportation of hydrogen require significant infrastructure investment. Additionally, the production of hydrogen itself can be carbon-intensive if not produced through renewable energy sources.

In conclusion, the successful test flight of the “Lightning McClean” aircraft using hydrogen fuel cells is a significant step forward in the aviation industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. However, more research and development are needed to address the challenges associated with hydrogen fuel cell technology to make it a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

FAA Certifies World’s Largest Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft as 14 Companies Order Conversion of ATR 72s

The aviation industry’s transition to more sustainable fuels has taken another step forward, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granting a special airworthiness certificate to the world’s largest hydrogen-powered aircraft. The aircraft is part of a program to convert ATR 72s to use hydrogen fuel cells as their primary power source, with the goal of having them in commercial service by 2025.

During the test flights, pilots were able to switch to conventional engines during the second lap over the airport, effectively flying on hydrogen power alone. They also reported experiencing significantly less noise and vibration with the fuel cell power train.

The program has already attracted significant interest, with 14 companies ordering the conversion of their ATR 72s, bringing the total number of aircraft to 247 at a cost of USD 1 billion. The launch carriers for the type in the United States and Europe, Connect Airlines and Amelia, respectively, were present at the first take-off along with representatives from other companies.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source for aircraft has several advantages. It offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels, emitting no greenhouse gases, and significantly reducing noise and vibration. However, as mentioned earlier, there are challenges that need to be addressed, such as the storage and transportation of hydrogen and the carbon-intensive production of hydrogen.

The aviation industry accounts for approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the adoption of alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen is essential to reduce its carbon footprint. The success of the program to convert ATR 72s to use hydrogen fuel cells is a significant step forward in achieving this goal.

Source: businesswire.com

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