Japan Airlines could use H2-electric powertrains for commercial flights

H2FLY, the Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircraft, will work with Japan Airlines (JAL) to research and evaluate the feasibility of hydrogen-electric aviation in Japan.

Image: H2FLY

The companies have signed an agreement and will launch a joint study to assess operational requirements, such as powertrain requirements, depending on the distance of a commercial flight as well as the size of the aeroplane. H2FLY will test and validate the findings, the company says in its press release.

“At H2FLY, we have dedicated the past decade to making significant advancements in the development of our hydrogen technology for aircraft,” says CEO and co-founder of H2FLY, Josef Kallo. “We are honoured to be collaborating with Japan Airlines who are leading the way in securing a sustainable future for the aviation industry.”

President of JALEC, Ryo Tamura, adds: “Through this partnership, we’re moving forward to the realisation of hydrogen-powered flight in Japan. Our collaboration lets us lead and contribute to safe and sustainable aviation in Japan.”

The announcement comes roughly two months after H2FLY completed what it claimed was the world’s first flight of a crewed electric aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen. The demonstration aircraft HY4, which has been taking off regularly for test purposes with pressurised tanks since 2020, ” took off from Maribor, Slovenia, and saw safe and efficient operation throughout multiple flight tests,” as H2FLY wrote at the time. The test flight was part of the EU-supported ‘HEAVEN’ project.



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