American Startup Universal Hydrogen Cooperates with MagniX for Designing the World’s Largest Hydrogen Plane

In this article, readers will discover breathtaking details regarding the creation of the world’s largest hydrogen plane by an extremely talented tandem of the startup as well as a few reputable manufacturers. We will share with you the following:

· The reasons why the engineering team goes hydrogen while designing the plane;

· Tech specs and other impressive features of the future hydrogen plane;

· About certification and two phases of test procedures.

In case you are interested in solutions in eco-aviation or you just want to keep abreast of the aircraft developments for keeping the smart conversation with your colleagues, go on with this article! If you have the idea of an aircraft project with an accent on sustainability, it is also a good idea to check this article. Don’t forget to order the aeroelasticity analysis service that will help to successfully implement your solution.

The US is considered the leader in developing various high-tech things to optimize all the industries. A few incredible solutions are brightly depicted in such articles as US Will Repair Planes Using 3D Printing and US Startup Arqlite SPC Collaborates with Cemex Ventures to Recycle Plastic for Concrete and Aggregates Production . This time, the LA-based startup revealed how much work was done to design the hydrogen plane that may start the era of sustainable flights. Let’s explore their solution!

Hydrogen Aircraft

Universal Hydrogen, a startup that is located in LA, has introduced a solution to design a hydrogen system that can be embedded into existing airplanes. They intend to test it on a De Havilland Canada DHC8-Q300 or the Dash-8. If all goes as planned, the plane with such a system will be titled as the world’s biggest hydrogen-fueled commercial aircraft.

In collaboration with MagniX and Plug Power Inc., the startup will deliver a regional airplane with hydrogen fuel cells for powering to implement the following goal.

Such a modification will try to demonstrate to the aircraft industry that hydrogen can effectively function for regional aircraft traveling for a few hundred kilometers, even in case fuel cells stay a stretch for distance flights. The engineering team explains that it is more secure than jet fuel in both directions. For instance, when an accident takes place, hydrogen moves upward, because it weighs less than air. On the contrary, jet fuel accretes onto the ground and burns there.

According to Keith Schmid, Plug Power’s chief operating officer, as far as hydrogen is made from water with the help of the hydrolysis process that is powered by renewable energy, it suggests a viable path to decarbonize the sky.

Fuel cells produce electricity due to an electrochemical reaction but not combustion. When running on hydrogen, the only constituent they exhaust is water. Hydrogen fuel cells practically bring the idea of zero-emission flight a reality.

What is the contribution of MagniX here? Universal Hydrogen wants to design a fully electric fuel-cell system using MagniX electric motors, constructed on purpose to power 2 turboprops of the Dash 8.

MagniX delivers its vast experience to the solution, having triggered a modified nine-seated Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, which took its first flight in May 2020. The last is considered the world's largest electric aircraft.

How About Tech Specs of the Future Plane?

The Dash 8, powered with hydrogen, will possess a reduced number of forty seats. The reason for that is its huge hydrogen modules will substitute the last few rows. They take away around sixteen seating positions of space.

The plane will overcome the distance as of around seven hundred forty kilometers, moving with two electric motors by MagniX. The motors suggest more power than the traditional plane's pair of 1,860-kW Pratt & Whitney turboprop motors. The hydrogen will perform a battery role, producing electricity as it goes through the fuel cells.

Additionally, it reserves on gaseous hydrogen. What is that all about? The hydrogen Dash-8 could support approximately seventy-five percent of Dash-8 flights currently performed.

As far as a hydrogen system is carried out those indicators should increase up to a thousand and twenty kilometers and ninety-five percent!

The fuelling of the plane will be made via traditional cargo-loading equipment or tailgate lifts. The hydrogen fuel (in the form of dry freight) will be loaded in and out in two-meter-long and ninety-centimeter-diameter modules.

Universal Hydrogen is aiming to get the solution that will not lead to a rise in ticket prices. They plan to fix passenger prices no higher than usual Dash-8 trips, even if they possess uncommon fuel as well as the limited number of seats.

The company reports that there are approximately two thousand and two hundred Dash 8 aircraft around the world which are fully compliant with the hydrogen-based modification procedure. Moreover, this will also work for systems that can be involved in other aircraft designs.

As a result of the demand for clean energy, Universal Hydrogen believes its technology will thrive. The company predicts that annual revenue could become a billion US dollars by 2030 and approximately a hundred to take it the full run. Its target is to supply a next-gen single-aisle plane designed by Boeing and Airbus.

Certification and Testing

The company’s hydrogen storage system must be certificated by the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as well as the US Pipeline.

Universal Hydrogen has prepared a development strategy which consists of two stages covering the period as of two-three years.

During the first phase (lasting a year), the company plans to design and test its hydrogen capsules and to construct an aircraft-scale ground testbed.

During the second stage (lasting up to eighteen months), Universal Hydrogen intends to acquire flight certification of its capsule. Additionally, they will test a capsule health monitoring system.