UK project aiming to deliver hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2022

Six UK firms are spearheading a project to deliver what they say will be the world’s first truly green passenger carrying airline service using hydrogen fuel cell technology – and a hydrogen fuel cell-powered flying demonstrator is expected to be delivered by September 2022.

Project Fresson, led by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS), aims to use recent advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology to develop a commercially viable, retrofit powertrain solution for the nine-passenger Britten-Norman Islander aircraft.

Having completed a comprehensive evaluation of technologies and configurations for sustainable aircraft propulsion, the Fresson team concluded that hydrogen fuel cell technology is the optimum solution to meet environmental, regulatory and operational requirements for this size of aircraft, enabling zero carbon emissions and reducing operating costs.

On Monday (29th March), it was announced that Ricardo UK and Innovatus Technologies had joined the Fresson consortium, which also comprises Britten-Norman, Cranfield University and the Aerospace Technology Institute.

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