H2FLY, the global leader in hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, has announced the next generation of its proprietary fuel cell system, H175. This high-performance and modular power unit is specifically designed for commercial aircraft applications, marking a significant milestone in sustainable aviation.
The H175 program aims to develop a series of fuel cell systems that can be combined and scaled up to power hydrogen-electric aircraft in the megawatt-class range, suitable for aircraft with 20 to 80 seats. H2FLY is responsible for the overall development, integration, and testing of the fuel cell systems’ hardware and software, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.
Josef Kallo, CEO and co-founder of H2FLY, expressed enthusiasm for the H175 system, stating, “With H175, we introduce a completely new generation of aviation-grade fuel cell systems, pushing the boundaries of what is currently possible in the industry. By tackling the challenges associated with using liquid hydrogen in fuel cells through the HEAVEN project, H2FLY is bringing together all the necessary elements to make sustainable, commercial air travel a reality.”
The H175 fuel cell systems will operate at full power in flight altitudes of up to 27,000 ft, representing a crucial advancement from lower altitude viability to practical implementation in commercial aircraft.
H2FLY plans to conduct flight demonstrations of the first-generation H175 system later this year. Additionally, as part of the German government’s “328 H2-FC” project, the company intends to integrate H175 fuel cell systems into a Dornier 328 demonstrator aircraft.
Supported by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the “328 H2-FC” project is a collaborative effort with other partners, aimed at developing and testing a hydrogen-electric fuel cell system in the megawatt range through flight demonstrations.
H2FLY has been at the forefront of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, having successfully built and tested six generations of powertrains over the past decade. In 2022, the company’s testbed aircraft, HY4, achieved what is believed to be a world record for hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft by flying at an altitude of 7,230 ft. Moreover, H2FLY is leading the European initiative known as HEAVEN, which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid, cryogenic hydrogen in aircraft fuel cells.
The development of the H175 fuel cell system by H2FLY represents a significant step forward in the quest for sustainable aviation. As the world focuses on reducing carbon emissions and finding alternative energy solutions, hydrogen-electric aircraft show great promise in revolutionizing the aviation industry. However, challenges such as hydrogen storage, infrastructure development, and cost-effectiveness need to be addressed for widespread adoption and integration of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems in commercial aviation.