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H2FLY reports success in coupling hydrogen fuel cell with storage system

H2FLY, the Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircraft, today announced that it has successfully completed liquid hydrogen on-ground coupling tests with its HY4 aircraft for the first time. This achievement is part of the European project HEAVEN, a consortium of six companies to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid, cryogenic hydrogen in aircraft, led by H2FLY.

According to a company press statement:

“The new liquid hydrogen storage system, which is designed and supplied by Air Liquide based on H2FLY’s requirements, has been successfully coupled with the fuel cell system on ground. This coupling represents the final technological building block in the development of a complete hydrogen-electric powertrain using liquid hydrogen to power the HY4 – H2FLY’s four-seater demonstrator aircraft which runs on hydrogen and fuel cells producing zero-emissions and demonstrating the feasibility of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aircraft. The company led the test campaign on Air Liquide’s Campus Technologies Grenoble, in Sassenage, France together with Air Liquide.

“The successful coupling tests mark another important step toward the upcoming ground and flight test campaign this summer when the HY4 is expected to be the first passenger aircraft to fly with liquid hydrogen and fuel cells.

H2FLY reports it is the first company to successfully perform on-ground coupling tests with an aircraft-integrated LH2 tank and fuel cell system proving its technological advancements with fuel cell systems, hydrogen storage systems and H2 fuel system design for CS-23 and CS-25 aircraft. CS-23 and CS-25 are regulations established by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ensuring that aircraft meet the necessary standards for certification.

Furthermore, the company has established specialist knowledge when handling liquid hydrogen as it worked together with Air Liquide to develop new safety concepts in preparation for the coupling tests.

Prof. Dr. Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY says “With the successful passing of the on-ground coupling tests, we have learnt that it will be possible to scale up our technology for a 40-seater aircraft. We are thrilled to be making this crucial progress as we continue our efforts towards making sustainable medium and long-haul flight a reality.”

This coupling milestone follows the company’s announcement last month that it passed its first filling tests with the integrated liquid hydrogen tank.

For more than eight years, H2FLY has been researching, testing, and refining, resulting in the development of the HY4, a four-seat aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion, that first took flight in 2016.

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