Hydroplane wins US Army xTechSearch 8 competition


Hydroplane has won a US Army competition for its whitepaper and presentation to develop a hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for electric aircraft propulsion and auxiliary power use cases. 

The award for winning the xTechSearch 8 competition is a $35,000 cash prize. Winners are then invited to submit proposals for Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. If awarded, that will allow Hydroplane to collaborate with the army to define performance, durability and operations requirements.

“This deeply appreciated award helps us move towards a 500 KW powerplant that can be used in Army vertical lift and UAV platforms,” says Hydroplane CEO Dr. Anita Sengupta. “We recently completed development of a 120-kW aviation hydrogen electric propulsion powerplant as part of our US Air Force Agility Prime contract. We propose to do the same for the Army, and at even higher-power levels.”

 Hydroplane has now received Phase 1 and Phase 2 US Air Force Agility Prime Small Business Technology Transfer contracts, a US Navy Phase 1 SBIR contract and a California Energy Commission CalTestBed voucher.

Development is well underway on Hydroplane’s modular hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for the general aviation market. The company’s novel electric propulsion powerplant will replace combustion-piston driven engines in currently certified, experimental, and future aircraft.