H2Fly project milestone reached with HY4 aircraft hydrogen tank test

H2FLY, a Stuttgart-based company that develops hydrogen fuel cell technology, has begun integrating a liquid hydrogen storage system tank into its HY4 aircraft, marking a new business milestone.

After the liquid hydrogen tank passed the vibration and LH2 leakage testing stages at Air Liquide in September, the integration procedure got under way.

The announcement represents a significant advancement for Project HEAVEN, a program with the goal of designing, developing, and integrating a high-power fuel cell and cryogenic technology-based powertrain into an existing aircraft for in-flight operation testing. In order to achieve real zero-emissions medium and long-haul flying, H2FLY must first increase aircraft ranges, which the beginning of the mechanical integration process will help them do.

Along with the integration platform, general system architecture, and controls of the fuel cell and hydrogen storage system, H2FLY provides the entire fuel cell system supporting the HY4 aircraft. As the development lead, H2FLY is essential in coordinating every aspect of the system’s implementation to ensure that each component is correctly adjusted and functions safely.

The following companies have joined the business as partners on the HEAVEN project: Cryogenic tank designers and suppliers Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, and DLR will support the tank’s integration and demonstration, as well as the operation and testing of the high power fuel cell and system architecture.

The integration process is anticipated to be finished in the upcoming months. The aircraft is expected to be the first passenger aircraft to fly utilizing liquid hydrogen after the integration of the new hydrogen storage system and fuel cells, which is scheduled to occur early in 2023.

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) has funded the HEAVEN project through grant agreement No. 826247. The JU is supported by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative of the European Union, as well as by Spain, France, Germany, and Slovenia.

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