Hydrogen powered passenger plane makes maiden flight

The six-seater Piper M350 hydrogen fuel cell aircraft makes its maiden flight. The device had no problem during taxi, takeoff, full flight and landing.

A hydrogen fuel cell passenger plane makes its maiden flight. ZeroAvia’s six-seat Piper M, which was retrofitted with a device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, was able to take off, complete a full flight cycle and land safely.

As noted by ZeroAvia, this flight was “the first in the world to use hydrogen fuel cells in commercial aircraft.” However, reporters were able to find several more similar examples when companies tested passenger aircraft on hydrogen fuel cells.

For example, in 2016, the HY4 aircraft, capable of carrying four passengers, made its first official flight from Stuttgart airport in Germany. The HY4 device was developed by researchers at the German Aerospace Center in conjunction with “industry and research partners.”

The ZeroAvia flight flew at the company’s research site at Cranfield Airport, England, 80 kilometers from London. The airport belongs to Cranfield University.

“While some experimental aircraft have flown using hydrogen fuel cells as their power source, the size of this commercial aircraft shows that we will soon be able to launch environmentally friendly commercial flights,” ZeroAvia said.

The next phase of the project will be a flight from 550 km from the Orkney Islands, an archipelago located in the waters off the northern coast of Scotland. The aircraft will also use hydrogen fuel cells. Perhaps the experiment will take place before the end of 2020.