Hydroplane, an innovative programme aiming to create a hydrogen fuel cell aircraft, revealed on Tuesday (May 3) that it is on course for a demonstrator project by 2023.
In order to support this development, Hydroplane has received a second US Air Force (USAF) Small Business Technology Transfer contract in partnership with the University of Houston.
This funding will support development of an engineering model hydrogen fuel cell based powerplant in a ground and flight demonstration.
Hydroplane’s 200 kW modular solution is designed to replace existing combustion powerplants in today’s existing single engine and urban air mobility platforms, while simultaneously delivering a significant improvement in range, endurance, and payload over the battery-powered equivalent.
This could see the technology utilised in a wide variety of mobility applications including flight training, commercial transportation, air taxi, cargo transportation, humanitarian aid, and government support.
Hydroplane is also a minority woman-owned company focused on developing affordable hydrogen fuel cell powerplant technology for existing single engine aircraft.
Dr. Anita Sengupta, CEO of Hydroplane and former NASA propulsion engineer, said, “We are excited to be a part of the prestigious and highly competitive USAF Agility Prime Program, a testament to the unique innovation we bring to emission-free electric aviation with regional range.
“Hydroplane will offer the general aviation and vertical lift markets zero-emission electric propulsion that outperforms batteries in range, endurance, payload, and operational efficiency. Once proven in this arena, we will expand the technology to regional aviation with increased operational capability.”
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