H2FLY has tested the first airplane running on liquid hydrogen

The German company H2FLY has tested its HY4 electric hydrogen plane in Slovenia. This is not the first flight of the HY4, but it is the first time that it runs on liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen.

Tests have shown a potential increase in the range of liquid hydrogen flight up to 1,500 km, almost 2 times as much as using gaseous hydrogen.

In one of the test flights, the HY4 stayed in the air for more than 3 hours. During this time, the 120 kW converter that converts the energy of the hydrogen fuel cell into electricity consumed 10 liters of liquid hydrogen. If the aircraft had used a “full tank”, i.e. 24 liters of hydrogen, it would have stayed in the air for 8 hours.

Liquid hydrogen is, of course, much more profitable in terms of energy capacity than gaseous hydrogen, but its temperature is -253°C, which leads to difficulties in transportation and refueling of aircraft.

The HY4 is only a test aircraft, it will not go into production. H2FLY’s next step is to convert a conventional 30-seat Dornier 328 into a fuel cell aircraft in partnership with Deutsche Aircraft. This technology demonstrator is due to take off in 2025.

And H2FLY hopes to see a 40-seat aircraft of its own design with a range of up to 2,000 km on the runway by 2030.

As a reminder, it has recently become known that the UK is planning to launch the world’s first electric airline, Ecojet.