On April 12, an HY4 aircraft manufactured by the aviation start-up company “H2FLY”, which operates on hydrogen fuel, covered a record-breaking distance of 77 miles with the highest altitude of 7230 feet (2203 meters) ever recorded. The aircraft flew from Stuttgart to Friedrichshafen, thereby finally making its way between the two commercial airports. The aircraft was primarily developed in 2015 in an attempt to introduce the first-ever hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft into the market with the aim of achieving sustainable aviation.
This masterpiece took its first flight in 2016 after approval of its design and flight considerations, and it was anticipated by the executive bodies that the aircraft would cover a distance of 2000 km (1240 miles) with 40 passengers on board in the upcoming years. And this is what happened recently. Although it hadn’t yet achieved the expected distance, it was rapidly moving towards its target by incorporating a new world record for the first time.
According to the co-founder and CEO of H2FLY, Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, “This is a remarkable achievement for H2FLY, as no other hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft has flown between two commercial airports to date. We are also thrilled to have set what we believe to be a new world record by reaching an altitude of over 7,000 feet with our HY4 aircraft.”
The aircraft is based on a zero-emission framework in which hydrogen from the engine reacts with oxygen and transforms into water and electricity. The electricity is used to power the plane, and hence, the water produced is the only emission from this aircraft. This makes it sustainable for the environment as compared to conventional jet propulsion engines that release harmful gases along with carbon products into the atmosphere, thus increasing the threat of global warming.
In recent exciting news, it was revealed that Airbus is all set to collaborate with H2FLY in order to test this hydrogen-powered engine for its A380 aircraft. Airbus is also working on the concept of “green aviation” and this project might assist with this purpose, specifically in the case of larger aircraft. Moreover, H2FLY is also working with Deutsche Aircraft to incorporate the hydrogen-powered engine in its Dornier 328 by 2025.
The Managing Director of Friedrichshafen Airport said that they felt immense pleasure on the landing of this first-ever hydrogen-powered aircraft, which can carry up to 40 passengers. He was astonished by the technology and was very hopeful about playing his part in the further developments as well.