H2FLY has begun installation of a new liquid hydrogen storage system into its fuel cell-powered HY4 aircraft.

Integration of the cryogenic tank followed the successful completion of vibration and leakage trials by partner company Air Liquide in September.


Source: H2FLY

HY4 uses fuel cell powertrain

To be completed over the coming months, the process will allow the start of ground testing in early 2023, followed by a first flight later that year.

Stuttgart-based H2FLY sees the switch from gaseous to liquid hydrogen as key to achieving longer-range flights.

Development activities are being conducted under the EU-backed Project Heaven, an initiative to integrate a fuel cell powertrain using cryogenic technology onto an existing aircraft for testing.

H2FLY is leading the project – providing the fuel cell system and overall architecture and controls – and is supported by Air Liquide, aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, and German aerospace research body DLR.

Dr Josef Kallo, co-founder and chief executive of Joby Aviation-backed H2FLY, says: “Passing the vibration and leakage tests marks a big step forward for delivering true zero-emissions flight with increased range - we have now been able to kickstart the mechanical integration process, drawing even closer to this next exciting flight-test phase.”

H2FLY has been testing the latest iteration of the HY4 since 2020. It is also partnered with Deutsche Aircraft to develop a fuel cell powertrain for the D328eco regional turboprop.