Costain is investigating the viability of operating hydrogen-powered planes in the United Kingdom by the end of the decade.
This is intended to support the Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) FlyZero project, which is being carried out in collaboration with Costain to analyze the practical and regulatory requirements for the safe and efficient ground operations required to operate hydrogen-powered aircraft.
Costain will also investigate the commercial consequences of these regulations and future operations.
The project will conduct a detailed and holistic study of the design challenges, manufacturing demands, operational requirements, and market opportunity of potential zero-carbon emission aircraft concepts, led by the ATI and supported by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.
To that purpose, Costain will study the conditions required for hydrogen storage as well as the impact of its use on plane turnaround times at airports.
It will investigate the role of technology in supporting the safe and efficient use of hydrogen, including the possibility of automating portions of the turnaround process.
These data will also help researchers better understand the commercial factors that influence airport and airline hydrogen adoption.
Andy Clarke, Integrated Transport Director at Costain, said, “We recognise that aviation plays a vital role in moving people and goods, creating social and economic benefit. With the creative and innovative use of technology we can ensure that aviation is at the heart of the green transport revolution, helping to lead the way for others.
“We’ll be drawing on our industry-leading hydrogen capability from hydrogen feasibility studies such as Hy-value and HYDERUS, plus our role leading the South Wales Industrial Cluster, to help make this happen.”
Mark Howard, Head of Commercial Strategy for FlyZero, said, “FlyZero is investigating the advanced technologies needed to deliver zero-carbon emission air travel including hydrogen and electric and our holistic approach recognises the operation and commercial viability of these aircraft is an essential piece of the puzzle.
“Working with Costain will assist our detailed assessment of the next generation of commercial aircraft helping to ensure they deliver on sustainability as well as operational and commercial aspects.”