Universal Hydrogen, the pioneering company in achieving true-zero emission aviation through renewable hydrogen, has selected the Mojave Air & Space Port as its new flight test centre.
This strategic move comes after the successful ferry flight of its Dash-8 modified regional airliner, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. With a series of impressive flight tests, Universal Hydrogen remains on track for its ambitious two-year flight test campaign, positioning itself for commercial entry into service by late 2025. The relocation of flight activities to Mojave signifies a significant step forward for the company and its mission to revolutionize the aviation industry.
Universal Hydrogen has made substantial progress in its flight testing regimen, with the selection of the Mojave Air & Space Port marking the next phase of this critical phase. Following its initial successful flight earlier this year, the company has achieved four subsequent test flights, maintaining its planned trajectory. The two-year flight test campaign aims to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of hydrogen-powered aviation, ultimately paving the way for widespread adoption. Notably, the converted Dash-8 aircraft has achieved impressive milestones, including a 30-minute flight at 170 knots of indicated airspeed and ascents to altitudes of 10,000 feet during the third and fourth flight tests.
The recent ferry flight of the Dash-8 aircraft, named “Lightning McClean,” from Moses Lake, Washington to Mojave, California, showcased the capabilities of the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain over a distance of over 800 nautical miles. The journey included stops across Oregon and California before reaching Mojave, where Universal Hydrogen will conduct further test flights. Notably, the hydrogen powertrain was fully utilized for each take-off, with the final leg of the journey marking the longest flight to date for a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, covering over 180 nautical miles and lasting over one hour.
By establishing the Mojave Air & Space Port as its flight test centre, Universal Hydrogen consolidates its operations closer to its global headquarters in Hawthorne, California. This strategic move not only strengthens the company’s presence in the state but also enables it to tap into the engineering talent pool available in Mojave and the neighboring Los Angeles area. The proximity to skilled engineers and aviation expertise will facilitate further advancements in the development of hydrogen-powered aviation technologies.