State-of-the-Art Hydrogen Aviation Center to Be Set Up in Germany

In spite of the naysayers, several aviation companies are developing innovative hydrogen powertrains with the goal of bringing the first hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft on the market. One of them is the German H2Fly, who is now collaborating with the Stuttgart Airport on a major project.
H2Fly will manage a new Hydrogen Aviation Center in Stuttgart 8 photos
Photo: H2Fly
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Can you imagine a future where hydrogen aircraft are rolled out of factories on a regular basis, and where passengers can board airliners with no emissions at all? This is the vision of H2Fly, a company with a trailblazing spirit, that was founded almost a decade ago in Stuttgart.

Established by a team of engineers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the University of Ulm, it’s not surprising that it aims to break technological barriers and revolutionize commercial aviation.

The company first made headlines with a four-seat prototype that has achieved impressive results for hydrogen-powered aviation. It became the first of its kind to complete a flight between two commercial airports, when it traveled from Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen powered by hydrogen. Next, it managed to fly at 7,230 feet (2,203 meters), which was considered an altitude world record for hydrogen-air-breathing aircraft.

But these successes are just stepping stones on the way to something that’s much more impressive – a 40-seat regional airliner powered by liquid hydrogen. It won’t be a new aircraft built from scratch, but an existing Dornier fitted with H2Fly’s fuel cell system.

All of the future tests will be performed at a new development and testing hub, called the Hydrogen Aviation Center, in Stuttgart. The Stuttgart Airport is H2Fly’s partner for this ambitious project, which is also getting millions of Euros in funding from the Ministry of Transport, through Baden-Württemberg.

As its name suggests, the future center will be entirely dedicated to the development and testing of hydrogen-electric powertrains. According to H2Fly, it will include workshops and test stands in the hangar, plus a spacious outdoor area, where aircraft demonstrators can be used for further testing of the hydrogen technologies.

Baden-Württemberg officials even believe that Stuttgart has the potential to grow from an R&D hub for hydrogen technology, to a manufacturing center for hydrogen aircraft.

The new Hydrogen Aviation Center in Stuttgart is set to start operating by the end of next year. In the meantime, the German startup is working with Deutsche Aircraft to certify the D328eco using Power2Liquid jet fuel that’s made from green hydrogen.

The future passenger aircraft could be certified by 2026, and the new Hydrogen Center will certainly play an important part in that. In addition to the powertrain, H2Fly is also developing a liquid hydrogen tank for the future 40-seat passenger aircraft. However, this complex endeavor requires the cooperation of multiple industry partners, which is why the new hub for centralized operations is so important.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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