The achievement is part of the European project HEAVEN, a consortium of six companies to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid, cryogenic hydrogen in an aircraft, led by Stuttgart-based H2FLY.
Air Liquide designed and supplied the new liquid hydrogen storage system based on H2FLY’s requirements. It has now been successfully coupled with the fuel cell system on ground, which H2FLY described as ‘the final technological building block’ in the development of a complete hydrogen-electric powertrain using liquid hydrogen to power the HY4.
H2FLY’s four-seater HY4 demonstrator aircraft runs on hydrogen and fuel cells, producing zero emissions. Together with Air Liquide, H2FLY led the test campaign on Air Liquide’s Campus Technologies Grenoble, in Sassenage, France. The two companies worked together to develop new safety concepts in preparation for the coupling tests.
The successful coupling tests mark another step toward the upcoming ground and flight test campaign this summer. The milestone follows the company’s announcement last month that it passed its first filling tests with the integrated liquid hydrogen tank.
H2FLY believes it is the first company to successfully perform on-ground coupling tests with an aircraft-integrated LH2 tank and fuel system, proving its technological advancements with fuel cell systems, hydrogen storage systems and H2 fuel system design for CS-23 and CS-25 aircraft. CS-23 and CS-25 are regulations established by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ensuring that aircraft meet the necessary standards for certification.
“With the successful passing of the on-ground coupling tests, we have learnt that it will be possible to scale up our technology for a 40-seater aircraft,” said Prof. Dr Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY.
“We are thrilled to be making this crucial progress as we continue our efforts towards making sustainable medium and long-haul flight a reality.”