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H2FLY developing next-gen fuel cell system for commercial aircraft

H2FLY developing next-gen fuel cell system for commercial aircraft
Funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), “328 H2-FC” is a joint project with other partners aiming to develop a hydrogen-electric fuel cell system in the megawatt range and test it in flight demonstrations (image courtesy H2FLY).

Germany-based H2FLY GmbH, a leading developer of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, has announced the next generation of its new, proprietary fuel cell system – a high-performance and modular power unit designed to be used in commercial aircraft applications.

The development program will provide a series of fuel cell systems that can be combined and upscaled to power hydrogen-electric aircraft in the megawatt-class range, which complies with aircraft that comprise 20 to 80 seats.

H2FLY is responsible for the development, integration, and testing of the overall fuel cell systems hardware and software.

We introduce a completely new generation of aviation-grade fuel cell systems, pushing forward the state of the art in the industry. By developing this new system, but also working to solve the challenges of using liquid hydrogen with fuel cells in the HEAVEN project, H2FLY is bringing together all crucial elements to realize truly sustainable, commercial air travel, said Josef Kallo, CEO and co-founder of H2FLY

Real-world commercial applications

H2FLY’s systems will be capable of providing their full power range in flight altitudes of up to 27 000 ft, marking an important step on the path from lower altitude viability flight demonstrations to real-world commercial aircraft applications.

H2FLY is planning to test the first generation of its system in aircraft flight demonstrations late this year.

In addition, as part of the German government’s “328 H2-FC” project, the company intends to integrate the novel fuel cell systems into a Dornier 328 demonstrator aircraft.

Funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), “328 H2-FC” is a joint project with other partners aiming to develop a hydrogen-electric fuel cell system in the megawatt range and test it in flight demonstrations.

Comprehensive hydrogen-electric powertrain

Over the past decade, H2FLY has led the way in hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, building and testing six generations of powertrains to date.

Last year, the company’s testbed aircraft HY4 set what is believed to be a world record for hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft flying at an altitude of 7 230 ft.

Furthermore, the company leads the European initiative HEAVEN – a project to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid, cryogenic hydrogen with fuel cells in aircraft.

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