Are Hydrogen Fueled Airliners Coming to Airports Near You?


This hydrogen-fueled aircraft looks almost like science fiction.

American Airlines recently invested in ZeroAvia. ZeroAvia produces hydrogen-electric powertrains that emit zero emissions. They also invest in airport infrastructure and hydrogen-powered engines. They also invest in airport infrastructure and hydrogen-powered engines.

Do not be discouraged.

Is liquid hydrogen-powered aircraft likely to be available for passengers soon? However, you shouldn’t be surprised to see passengers board hydrogen-powered widebody aircraft for cross-country flights.

The United States and the Soviet Union experimented with hydrogen as a power source for aircraft during the Cold War. Skunk Works engineers designed the SR-71 Blackbird to replace the kerosene distillates used to power spy aircraft with hydrogen.

It was great to use hydrogen to propel aircraft.

The second was distance. A hydrogen-fueled aircraft would be able to fly several thousand miles. However, hydrogen is three times more powerful than kerosene per kilogram but requires up to seven times the volume of dense fuels like kerosene.

Liquid hydrogen storage can be dangerous. It could have decimated Skunk Works and Burbank if it had reached the tanks.

Kelly Johnson of Skunk Works, the chief executive, canceled the project. Johnson said to DC that a hydrogen-powered plane was a “dog”.

Civil aviation engineers still face the same problems that Kelly Johnson faced 65 years ago.

It is possible to make hydrogen green. Electrolysis is a process where molecules are ripped apart by electricity. Hydrogen can only be made green if it is generated using electricity.

How much renewable production is needed? This is what experts have “papered out”.

This is because there are many winds or solar farms close to airports. You can retrofit to allow liquid hydrogen to power short-range regional planes.

Fueling a conversion engine is just one step. To make science fiction become a reality, ground support must change dramatically.

Are you really close to a hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft? The world’s first four-seater hydrogen-powered aircraft flew its maiden flight in 2016.

George Jetson is unlikely to commute to work in liquid-hydrogen vehicles.