DALLAS – A hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft has been piloted for the first time between two commercial airports in Germany.
H2FLY, the Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for aircraft, announced that its HY4 demonstrator jet, S5-MHY, flew 124 kilometers from Stuttgart Airport (STR) to Friedrichshafen Airport (FDH) on April 12, reaching a record high altitude of 7,230 feet (2.2 kilometers) the following day.
The mission took the aircraft to Friedrichshafen to participate in the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow, which begins on April 27, where the HY4 will be shown to the public for the first time until the end of the month. Before the maiden airport-to-airport flight, the HY4 had only been tested in the area surrounding STR, a long-term partner of H2FLY.
H2FLY, established in 2015 by five engineers from the German Aerospace Centre and the University of Ulm, intends to develop the first commercial hydrogen-electric airplane powertrain to help usher in an era of “emission-free, sustainable air travel.”
Comments from H2FLY, Stuttgart Airport
‘This is a remarkable achievement for H2FLY, as no other hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft has flown between two commercial airports to date,” said chief executive Josef Kallo.
“We are also thrilled to have set what we believe to be a new world record by reaching an altitude of over 7,000ft with our HY4 aircraft.”
Walter Schoefer, a spokesman for the Stuttgart Airport board, added, “This is another step on the long road of the aviation transformation process towards a more climate-friendly air transport. We see hydrogen-electric engines as the key to zero-emission flying.”
The company says that hydrogen-electric aircraft will be able to transport “40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000km” in just a few years. H2FLY closed major funding in April 2021.
Featured image: H2FLY’s HY4. Photo: H2FLY