HY4 fuel cell aircraft takes off for the first time

HY4 fuel cell aircraft takes off for the first time

HY4 fuel cell aircraft takes off for the first time
The world premiere of the HY4 fuel cell aircraft flies over Stuttgart Airport.  Source: dpa

The world’s first four-seat passenger aircraft with fuel cell technology successfully completed its maiden flight in Stuttgart. After a ten-minute roundabout over the state airport of Baden-Württemberg, the hybrid aircraft developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the hybrid aircraft developed safely returned to the ground. Two test pilots and two simulated passengers were on board.

The futuristic plane with a propeller on a central section and two two-seater cabins on the wings a little to the left and right of it is an important step in research on the path to clean and quiet flying. The electric motor of the hybrid aircraft is powered by a fuel cell when it is cruising. A high-performance battery is switched on during take-off and climb.

According to the DLR researchers, it was the world premiere of a four-seater passenger aircraft that is powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell battery system.

The most important thing about hydrogen and fuel cells

HY4 has a wingspan of a good 21 meters and can transport a load of around 350 kilograms at a maximum of 1500 kilometers at up to 200 kilometers per hour.

DLR project manager Josef Kallo said it could be used as an air taxi between regional airports in a few years’ time. “Electric drives have a low level of noise and emissions and are therefore particularly suitable for shorter distances.” The researchers’ vision for the next 25 years is the development of a 40-seat aircraft with a range of around 1000 kilometers.