In the UK, preparing to test a passenger aircraft on hydrogen fuel

Over the past few years, cars,using something other than gasoline as fuel, they have already become the norm and are perceived as something ordinary. But with other modes of transport, everything is not so clear. Air transport remains the most “conservative” in this matter, but developments are also regularly carried out in this area. For example, now in the UK preparations have begun in full swing for testing the first hydrogen-produced passenger aircraft in England.

Piper PA-46. It is on the basis of this aircraft that hydrogen-based civil aviation will develop

Why is a hydrogen fuel aircraft needed?

Today in Europe there are severalprograms whose goal is to create environmentally friendly transport. Moreover, one of the most promising is considered to be the creation of transport for the needs of civil aviation: airplanes and helicopters. And if it is possible to argue with the “environmental friendliness” of electric transport, since to generate electricity it is necessary (albeit on a smaller scale) to harm the environment in the process of energy production, then hydrogen fuel is already a truly clean source of energy, because the only by-product is the work of hydrogen elements is water. What do you think about alternative energy sources? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

Read also: #video | The world's first electric-powered aircraft crashed

Under this program, the Ministry of TransportThe UK has allocated £ 2.7 million (about $ 3.3 million) in funding for the HyFlyer project, which will test a six-seat passenger aircraft that runs exclusively on hydrogen. The American company ZeroAvia and the British Cranfield University are responsible for the development of a new environmentally friendly mode of transport. And the first one already has something similar in its assets: not so long ago, ZeroAvia specialists already tested a hydrogen propulsion system on a Piper PA-46 aircraft.

Our goal is to show thatZero-emission hydrogen-fueled aviation can play a key role in transport strategies in the UK and other countries, ZeroAvia officials said. It has long been proven how a battery can reduce emissions from airplanes and other vehicles. The new project takes us one step closer to reducing these emissions to zero, thereby improving the environmental situation in the world.

Returning to the HyFlyer project, I want to addthat on the basis of existing developments it is planned to conduct a number of tests that will set the stage for the creation of a full-fledged six-seat aircraft for air travel. According to the company, the exact date of the test flight has not yet been determined, but it should happen "in the next year and a half." During the tests, the hydrogen plane will have to fly about 460-560 kilometers long. This distance is roughly equivalent to the distance from London to Edinburgh. The tests themselves will be conducted on the Scottish Orkney Islands.

This is what hydrogen fuel batteries look like

At this, employees of ZeroAvia and the BritishCranfield University does not plan to stop, and by 2022 they are going to introduce to the public and begin supplying a hydrogen propulsion system, designed already for passenger aircraft that can accommodate up to 20 passengers.

It is also worth recalling one interestingdomestic project. In the USSR, from the beginning of the 1960s, they were already thinking about using liquid hydrogen in aviation. However, at that time, while the country's best design bureaus worked on the creation of a hydrogen-fueled aircraft, new fields rich in natural gas were discovered. This forced scientists to curtail the project to develop hydrogen fuel and concentrate on natural gas. But if this would not have happened, it is entirely possible that the development of aviation would have taken a completely different path.