Toulouse, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The future of hydrogen aviation, powered by H3 Dynamics’ distributed hydrogen propulsion nacelles, has taken flight for the first time in France.
After announcing its hydrogen aviation concept in 2018, H3 Dynamics managed to become a topic at an Oval Office press conference the next day and started what is now a global hydrogen aviation movement.
In November 2021, H3 Dynamics completed its first working hydrogen-powered nacelle prototype. In July 2022, the first distributed pod system took to the air on a scaled-down aircraft at the “Hub Drones – Systematic” airfield near Paris. The hydrogen flight received permission from the French civil aviation authorities (DGAC).
H3 Dynamics’ standalone gondola approach addresses technical, safety and cost challenges that hydrogen aircraft developers may face in the future. It achieves this by placing hydrogen and smaller fuel cells in a series of cooperating propulsion nacelles under the wings. A new 2022 study predicts the global thrust nacelle market to reach $7 billion by 2030 and highlights H3 Dynamics’ hydrogen solution as a major new opportunity in the industry.
Other proponents of hydrogen planes with better visibility are much more likely to fly larger planes – but they will do so by converting existing planes using automotive fuel cells – and storing large quantities of gas or liquid hydrogen in the main fuselage.
“Not only is safety our number one priority, but we don’t want hydrogen to compete for revenue-generating air cargo and passenger space,” said Taras Wankewycz, Founder/CEO of H3 Dynamics. Distributing small systems solves technical problems, such as thermal management, and increases safety through multiple redundancy.
The 25 kg test aircraft from H3 Dynamics is already a breakthrough – with an electric flight range of up to 900 km on liquid hydrogen, or 350 km with pressurized hydrogen. The exterior nacelle design also frees up 30 liters of hull volume with no hydrogen or powertrain elements inside. H3 Dynamics’ hydrogen-powered nacelles could potentially become a “snap-on” retrofit for battery-powered unmanned eVTOL or fixed-wing cargo drones.
Preparing for the arrival of hydrogen unmanned flights of much longer duration – H3 Dynamics started working on airspace safety with leading air traffic control companies. It has gained experience with large-scale enterprise data services deployed in smart cities such as Singapore, and has gradually linked them to drone-agnostic charging stations.
By starting at the lower end of the regulatory and certification efforts, H3 Dynamics doesn’t have to wait until 2035 to begin its commercial journey. “We all need to learn today with small commercial applications and gradually increase the size of aircraft over time, together with all stakeholders – especially the regulators.”
Now H3 Dynamics is already preparing its next steps.
It is exploring the integration of liquid hydrogen as part of a joint development with ISAE-SUPAERO in Toulouse, launched in 2019. The goal is a historic and symbolic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on hydrogen-electric propulsion in the next two years.
And with airfield experiments fueling its digital twin hydrogen aircraft design capability, H3 Dynamics is now working on a next-generation platform powered by 6 independent hydrogen-electric gondola systems. The aircraft can be quickly refueled and will be used as a test bed for future hydrogen-electric propulsion technology from H3 Dynamics.
About H3 Dynamics: www.h3dynamics.com
H3 Dynamics has a long-term mission to decarbonise aviation with a unique technology solution around distributed hydrogen-electric propulsion, as well as ground-based refueling solutions. As the commercial opportunity around passenger-scale hydrogen aviation continues to mature, the company is implementing a step-by-step product and service roadmap that solves safety, technical and regulatory challenges by starting small and simple and adding scale and complexity over time. add. The company currently has 95 employees and serves customers worldwide from its 3 regional headquarters in Toulouse, Austin and Singapore. H3 Dynamics is a member of the Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation under the European Commission, the Lufthansa Cleantech Hub, Paris Advanced Air Mobility Alliance and Aerospace Valley in Toulouse.