Dresdeners collaborate on East German hydrogen aircraft

Experts in lightweight construction from Saxony collaborate on an eastern German hydrogen-powered aircraft. Specifically, a Dresden collaboration is building a lightweight hydrogen tank for the experimental Apus i-5 “H” aircraft, which the Strausberg-based company Apus and Rolls-Royce have been designing together since 2019.

This was disclosed by the Institute of Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK) at TU Dresden, one of the project’s research partners.

Concentrate on high energy density and compact installation

Thus, Saxony is working on a major issue pertaining to alternative energy sources for aircraft: neither batteries nor hydrogen have yet attained the energy density of kerosene. To transport substantial quantities of hydrogen for fuel cell drives or H2 engines and turbines, new hydrogen storage technologies are required. The Saxonhy partnership aims to create a hydrogen tank that is as light and safe as feasible, fits into the wing of the future Apus aircraft, has little installation area, and has the highest storage density per kilogram. The proposal also includes a certification idea for such hydrogen tanks in the aviation industry.

On the Saxon side of the project, in addition to the ILK, the Institute of Aerospace Engineering (ILR) and the Institute of Energy Technology (IET) of the TU Dresden, the Lightweight Construction Center Saxony and the companies “East-4D Carbon Technology”, Cotesa Mittweida, and IMA Material Research and Application Technology Dresden are involved.