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Eco-Friendly Hydrogen Plane Development – GF

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development and testing of hydrogen fuel cell aircraft

the development of eco-friendly hydrogen aircraft that do not use internal combustion engines is heating up. It coincided with the demand for reducing emissions from the aeronautical industry, which annually emits around 900 million tons of carbon dioxide. The carbon-free aircraft currently being developed are primarily battery-powered electric propulsion methods. there are also companies that want to use hydrogen as fuel.

In May, Massachusetts-based Alaka’i Technologies unveiled a five-seater multi-rotor air taxi design powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The plane, called “Skai”, has a range of up to 640 kilometers and can take off and land vertically in the city center without runways.

Hydrogen plane

THE BIGGEST POINT OF TRANSPORTATION OF HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS IS HOW TO STORE HYDROGEN VOLUME. SKYE IS TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM USING LIQUID HYDROGEN AS FUEL. ALAKAI WILL PRODUCE A PROTOTYPE AND CONDUCT A TEST FLIGHT NEXT YEAR WITH FAA CERTIFICATION.

When Alakai announced plans to airlift hydrogen fuel cells, another unknown company challenged it.

On January 14, Silicon Valley aviation startup ZeroAvia announced that it was developing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and was testing it. It has already approached and landed successfully, but the battery is still used as a power source. Seriously, hydrogen fuel cell test flights will take place in a few weeks.

zeroavia said its goal is to have a 20-seat propeller that uses hydrogen stored in high-pressure tanks as fuel for short-distance trade routes by 2022. To this end, it is being developed to produce a range of up to 800 km.

In practical use, geroavia is advantageous.

geroavia is a recently created company. Considering that Alakai had stuck with developing skye for four years, he was able to perform a test flight in a short period of time. The gas used for the test flight replaced only the six-seater piper matrix engine unit.

alakai is developing a completely new aircraft. These projects require a large budget and multiple processes to validate performance, which can take a long period of development. zero avia, on the other hand, has chosen to modernize existing proven accessories, so it should only focus on transmission development.

“We currently have a tester capable of carrying six people and two tons of cargo at the same time,” Geroavia founder Val Miftakhov told science and technology outlet IEEE Spectrum. Next year, we will present a design for FAA certification to modernize and test a 20-seat aircraft. “

Low-density hydrogen storage is key

Researchers have been experimenting with how hydrogen can be used as a power source for aircraft for decades. Hydrogen contains three times more energy than kerosene by mass and has potentially greater potential to save weight and reduce CO2 emissions than battery-electric propulsion methods. however, the density of hydrogen is very low, which means that a large fuel tank is required for long-haul flights.

Alakai and Geroavia are taking a different approach to overcoming the hydrogen density problem. Alachai plans to store cooled hydrogen in a dense liquid state below -253 ° C in a double-walled tank at a pressure of 7 pressures. The use of cryogenic liquid hydrogen, which is used as rocket fuel, as fuel for urban air taxis requires both a safety test and expansion of cargo facilities.

GEROAVIA, ON THE OTHER HAND, PLANS TO COMPRESS AND STORE GAS HYDROGEN AT ABOUT 340 PRESSURIZATIONS. THE FAA CERTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO PASS EASILY BECAUSE IT IS THE SAME WAY AS CURRENTLY MARKED HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLES. HOWEVER, IT IS STILL BULK AND AERODYNAMICALLY UNFAVORABLE BECAUSE THE FUEL CYLINDER MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE EXTERIOR OF THE AIRCRAFT.

Like electric vehicles, electric aircraft are expected to have shorter sailing distances for the foreseeable future, which will be a barrier to commercialization. Hydrogen fuel cells are a good alternative in the field of aircraft, where long-haul flights increase profitability.

“Our research shows that 50% of the world’s air routes are less than 800 kilometers away,” Misekov said. the 800 km range is sufficiently commercialized, ”he said, noting that the fuel and maintenance costs of hydrogen fuel cell aircraft are only half those of conventional internal combustion engines.



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