H2FLY to build world’s first commercial aircraft to fly using liquid hydrogen



H2FLY is to fit its HY4 aircraft with a liquid hydrogen (h2) tank within the next month, at it plans to become the first fuel cell developer to put a liquid h2-fuelled aircraft into commercial operation. The Stuttgart-based firm announced the installation at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) this week.

The HY4 is currently operated using pressurised gaseous hydrogen, once modified with a new liquid hydrogen tank it will double the range capability of the aircraft. The HY4 is a four-seat aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion, that first took flight in 2016.

Following the integration of the new tank and fuel cells, the aircraft is planned to enter a programme of ground testing early in 2023. 

Professor Dr. Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY said, “An aircraft that uses liquid hydrogen has the potential to transform the way we travel between cities, regions and countries, delivering true zero-emissions flight on medium and long-haul flights.”

“Liquid hydrogen has huge advantages over the alternative pressurised hydrogen gas, not least because it becomes possible to carry a far greater quantity on board an aircraft. The result is that significantly longer ranges are possible.”

This will be the first time the team has handled liquid hydrogen onboard, marking another significant step towards H2FLY’s aim of delivering the world’s first fully hydrogen-electric powertrain, which uses fuel cells with liquid hydrogen, said the firm.

Kallo added: “At H2Fly we’ve always been focused on delivering and demonstrating new technology, rather than just talking about it. As we head into this exciting new phase for the company we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition and proving this important new technology.”