Aviation H2 has chosen the use of liquid ammonia in turbofan combustion as the best route to carbon-free flight after a three-month feasibility study, and will soon begin modifying turbofan engines to test and prove the concept.
The company claims that the results of their studies were very positive after they launched a capital raise.
According to their research, converting a Falcon 50 to Liquid Ammonia Turbofan Combustion is the most efficient and commercially viable option for creating a hydrogen-powered plane. The company’s team of world-renowned engineers claims they now have a clear path to flying Australia’s first hydrogen-fueled plane by the middle of 2023.
“By implementing this power path, Aviation H2 can fly aircraft with hydrogen fuel using significantly less weight than alternative power paths while generating the same amount of power,” says Aviation H2 Director, Dr Helmut Mayer. There are multiple reasons why liquid ammonia was selected. Chiefly its advantages include high gravimetric and volumetric hydrogen density that makes it lighter and easier to transport while providing a greater energy conversion rate.”
This, according to Dr. Mayer, is supported by the fact that anhydrous ammonia reaches liquification point faster than liquid or gasified hydrogen, making it much easier to store.
Furthermore, liquid ammonia has been transported and handled globally for many years, making ammonia as a carbon-free fuel even more appealing.
Turbofans are a type of jet engine that is widely used and known for its high fuel efficiency. The Dassault Falcon 50 business jet – a long-range international business charter jet aircraft – has also been chosen for the flight test.
Because the jet has three engines, only two of which are required for flight, the third engine can be used to test a smaller engine modified to run on liquid ammonia before moving on to the main engines. The Falcon 50 has a higher weight capacity, which reduces the risk of weight challenges. The test program’s costs are comparable to those of a smaller, newer type of jet.
They’re also fairly common in Australia, which means that getting the plane ready for testing takes less time. Aviation H2 will have a patentable method for modifying aircraft to run on carbon-free fuel once the test flight is successful in the middle of 2023. They plan to certify and commercialize this product as soon as possible, with a public listing on a major exchange planned for Q4 of 2023.