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First Hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Aircraft sets a New World Record

7,230 feet! This is the new altitude record for a hydrogen aircraft. The German manufacturer H2FLY accomplished this on April 13 with its four-seat aircraft HY4. The aircraft also set a second record, that of the first flight of a hydrogen aircraft between two commercial airports. On April 12, the HY4 covered 124 kilometers between the airports in Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen.

H2FLY has been working on hydrogen systems since 2015, and its HY4 aircraft first flew in 2016. The aircraft has a 80-kilowatt electric motor powered by a fuel cell. The latter uses hydrogen maintained at a pressure of 5,800 PSI (400 bars) and distributed in two tanks.

40-seat hydrogen aircraft in a few years
The aircraft has lithium-ion batteries that provide additional energy during peak loads, especially during takeoff. The HY4 has a cruising speed of 145 km/h with a range that can reach 1,500 km with minimal loading and optimal conditions. With this new record, the company wants to usher in the era of emission-free and sustainable air travel. Based on the performance of its HY4, H2FLY expects to equip a 40-seat Dornier 328 aircraft with hydrogen propulsion by 2025 at the latest. reach 2,000 kilometers.The HY4, an amazing hydrogen electric planeThe HY4 electric plane developed by German researchers is powered by a fuel cell and has a range of more than 750 km. This odd-looking four-seater has made its maiden flight.

The aim is to construct a zero-emission regional passenger aircraft with 19 seats.
The HY4 has less noise and the 80 kW engine is electric. In a consumption-intensive phase, a lithium-ion battery supplies the power while in flight, a fuel cell drawing hydrogen from a low-temperature tank reacts with the oxygen in the air to generate an electric current and release water vapor.

Many manufacturers, big and small, have been trying for years, and the Expedition Solar Impulse, which completed a trip around the world using solar energy, needs no introduction. The use of a fuel cell to power an aircraft is not new either. In 2007 we presented the SmartFish, a scale model that became HyFish, equipped with an electric motor and a fuel cell.
The transformation had already taken place in Stuttgart, in the workshops of DLR, the German Aerospace Center, an aeronautics research institute. The team around his HY4, a four-seater aircraft that uses hydrogen as fuel. The machine only releases water into the atmosphere, but that hydrogen has to be produced first. H2Fly, DLR

The team around HY4, a four-seater aircraft that uses hydrogen as fuel. The machine only releases water into the atmosphere, but that hydrogen has to be produced first. H2Fly, DLRHydrogen-electric aircraft in the focus of a major research programThe German engineers persevered. Researchers from the University of Ulm got their hands dirty and DLR started an extensive research program on electric aviation, with Airbus and Siemens as industrial partners and scientific support with the help of 20 universities and research centers of the Helmotz Association.

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