Unveiled at the AeroDelft Summer-Event at Breda International Airport, the Netherlands, on Thursday (July 7), the team’s first manned Phoenix prototype aircraft took to the skies for the first time, offering hope that liquid hydrogen-powered flight could be just around the corner.
At full-scale, the two seater aircraft with a maximum weight of 920kg is set to fly on gaseous hydrogen, ahead of its transition to liquid hydrogen powertrains by 2025.
Henri Wrij, Dean of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), said, “The AeroDelft team shows the way towards sustainable aviation. A vision, courage, dedication, and full commitment. In my opinion, leading by example.”
Watch AeroDelft’s first unmanned prototype in flight:
The unmanned prototype, a 1:3 scale model battery-powered motorised glider, has gathered data from its first battery-powered flight which has confirmed the drone is capable of flying on liquid hydrogen, AeroDelft has said.
AeroDelft revealed the finished structure of the prototype aircraft in February 2021, where it said it was continuing to work on internal components and certification.
A H2 View aviation webinar in May (2022), heard from Simon Webb, Head of Zero-Carbon Strategy at the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), who stressed that liquid hydrogen shows great potential in the future of clean flight after an ATI study.
Webb said, “Early on, we looked at the different options, the different fuel solutions to address significant weight, class size and range of aircraft. We concluded that the best strategic choice for zero-carbon flight in the future ought to be liquid hydrogen.”
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