Showing posts with label Universal Hydrogen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Universal Hydrogen. Show all posts

29 September, 2023

Universal Hydrogen starts flight test programme of its regional aircraft.....

Universal Hydrogen hosted a kickoff event for a flight test earlier this week and a maturation campaign for its regional products. The campaign comes on the heels of a successful March 2023 first flight of the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell-powered aeroplane and the largest aeroplane ever to cruise principally on hydrogen. 

The record-setting first flight was followed by a successful June 2023 ferry of the aircraft from Moses Lake, Wash. to Mojave, Calif., which also included several “firsts” and demonstrated an expanded operating envelope for the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Universal Hydrogen has now achieved 10 test flights as it marches towards its goal of commercial entry into service in 2026.

The kickoff flight lasted approximately 20 minutes during which the flaps and landing gear were retracted and the aircraft reached 5,000 feet MSL before returning for several passes over the airport with the conventional engine throttled back and the hydrogen powertrain at full power to measure noise level reduction that fuel cell-electric propulsion is expected to deliver. The hydrogen fuel cell powertrain was operated at maximum power during takeoff and operated throughout the flight.

“It's truly exciting to see Universal Hydrogen's zero emission plane flying over California’s skies," said Angelina Galiteva, ARCHES CEO. “It's a great example of how California-based companies like Universal Hydrogen are working to alleviate the impacts of climate change and improve local air quality all while bringing tangible community benefits like good paying jobs and technological innovation to California. We look forward to partnering with Universal Hydrogen, as part of the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) hydrogen hub, to make zero emission flight a commercial reality for everyone!”

30 June, 2023

Universal Hydrogen selects Air & Space Port in Mojave as a new flight test centre.

Universal Hydrogen, the company achieving true zero-emission aviation with renewable hydrogen, has selected the Mojave Air & Space Port as its new flight test centre and also announced the successful ferry flight to Mojave of its Dash-8 modified 40-passenger regional airliner, powered on one side by a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. 

This move signals the next phase in its extensive flight testing regimen. Since its initial successful flight test earlier this year, Universal Hydrogen has achieved four subsequent test flights, maintaining its planned trajectory for the two-year flight test campaign expected to culminate in 2025. During its second flight, the converted aircraft achieved a 30-minute flight at 170 knots of indicated airspeed (KIAS), ascending to 5,000 feet. Further strides were made in the third and fourth flight tests completed on June 12, where the aircraft reached altitudes of 10,000 feet.

The ferry flight began in Moses Lake, Washington and travelled down the west coast with four stops across Oregon and California, covering a distance of over 800 nautical miles before reaching Mojave. “Lightning McClean,” as the aircraft is called, will reside at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California where Universal Hydrogen will conduct additional test flights gearing up to its goal of commercial entry into service in late 2025. The hydrogen powertrain was fully utilized for each take-off, and on the first three legs of the ferry it was throttled down after take-off. On the last leg, the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain was used for duration of the entire flight, accruing over 180 nautical miles, and a flight time of over one hour, which is the longest flight by a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain to date.

13 March, 2023

Universal Hydrogen collaboration in Japan to study green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese Airlines

“In order to meet aviation’s ambitious decarbonization goals, we must collaborate in those markets with the strongest appetite for green aviation solutions; Japan is one of those markets. With our Japanese partners—all of whom are global leaders in their industries—we have built a powerful alliance to build a hydrogen infrastructure solution for aviation,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “I’m honoured to have two of our investors and partners—Sojitz and Mitsubishi HC Capital—further their commitment to our mission through this collaborative effort.” Today, at the California-Japan Climate Summit, Universal Hydrogen Co. announced that it has formed a collaboration with three Japan-based companies to study—and ultimately develop—a green hydrogen supply and logistics solution that will enable Japanese airlines to scale their utilization of hydrogen-powered aircraft in the very near-term. Collectively, Universal Hydrogen alongside Sojitz Corporation, Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc., and an undisclosed third Japanese partner will study a modular hydrogen delivery system for Japanese airlines.

Under the terms of the collaboration, the companies will collectively identify, evaluate, and qualify local hydrogen suppliers and partners for hydrogen production, hydrogen module filling, module delivery operations, and more. Component manufacturers and suppliers will also be liaised with via this partnership, alongside Japanese government agencies and potential customers. Further, the companies will collaborate on studying marketing strategies and leasing and financing options for both Universal Hydrogen’s powertrain conversion kits and modular hydrogen capsules.

“Creating and ensuring a long-term solution for green hydrogen supply and logistics is the biggest hurdle to overcome as the Japanese aviation industry seeks to integrate hydrogen as one of its decarbonization measures. Many of these airlines already know the importance and urgency of decarbonization; it will require an all-encompassing solution to solve the challenges of infrastructure, cost, and supply. We, at Mitsubishi HC Capital, support Universal Hydrogen’s drive to decarbonize aviation and are thrilled to be a part of the Japanese effort to solve this challenge,” said Osamu Muramoto, Global Head of Aviation Business Division of Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc.

03 March, 2023

Universal Hydrogen completes first flight of hydrogen regional airliner

Universal Hydrogen Successfully Completes First Flight of Hydrogen Regional Airliner

The flight is the largest hydrogen fuel cell-powered aeroplane ever to take to the skies and the largest aeroplane to cruise principally on hydrogen

Universal Hydrogen Co., this morning flew a 40-passenger regional airliner using hydrogen fuel cell propulsion. The aeroplane, nicknamed Lightning McClean, took off at 8:41am PST from Grant County International Airport (KMWH) and flew for 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 MSL. The flight, conducted under an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate, was the first in a two-year flight test campaign expected to culminate in 2025 with entry into passenger service of ATR 72 regional aircraft converted to run on hydrogen. Representatives from Connect Airlines and Amelia, the US and European launch customers for the hydrogen aeroplanes, respectively, were on hand to witness the historic flight. The company has a rapidly growing order book, today totalling 247 aircraft conversions from 16 customers worldwide, totalling over $1 billion in conversions backlog and over $2 billion in fuel services over the first ten years of operation.

“Today will go down in the history books as the true start to the decarbonization of the global airline industry and we at Connect Airlines are extremely proud of the role that we, as the first US operator, will play in leading the way with Universal Hydrogen,” said John Thomas, CEO of Connect Airlines. Connect, which will begin regional turboprop service this spring, has placed a first-position US order with Universal Hydrogen to convert 75 ATR 72-600 regional aeroplanes to hydrogen powertrains with purchase rights for 25 additional aircraft conversions. Deliveries will start in 2025. “We have committed to being North America’s first zero-emission airline and this historic flight, taking hydrogen, which can be made with nothing but sunshine and emitting only water, is a key milestone on our journey,” continued Thomas.

“With this technology, and the improvement of government positive regulations I am confident that we can turn the tide of public sentiment and once again make aviation a shining beacon of technological optimism,” added Alain Regourd, President of Amelia.

In this first test flight, one of the aeroplane’s turbine engines was replaced with Universal Hydrogen’s fuel cell-electric, megawatt-class powertrain. The other remained a conventional engine for safety of flight. The flight was piloted by Alex Kroll, an experienced former U.S. Air Force test pilot and the company’s chief test pilot. “During the second circuit over the airport, we were comfortable with the performance of the hydrogen powertrain, so we were able to throttle back the fossil fuel turbine engine to demonstrate cruise principally on hydrogen power,” said Kroll. “The aeroplane handled beautifully, and the noise and vibrations from the fuel cell powertrain are significantly lower than from the conventional turbine engine.”

The company’s powertrain is built around Plug Power’s ProGen family of fuel cells specially modified for aviation use. One of the unique aspects of the design is that the powertrain does not use a battery—the fuel cells drive the electric motor directly—drastically reducing weight and cost. The motor, a modified magni650 electric propulsion unit, and power electronics were supplied by Everett-based magniX. Seattle-based AeroTEC assisted with engineering efforts, including design of the modified nacelle structure, aircraft systems design and integration, as well as aircraft modifications and installation of the Universal Hydrogen powertrain onto the flight test aircraft, accomplished in less than 12 months.

08 February, 2023

Universal Hydrogen gets experimental airworthiness certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration and completes first taxi tests....

Universal Hydrogen Co., whose mission is to make hydrogen aviation a near-term reality, today announced it was granted a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to proceed with the first flight of its hydrogen-powered regional aircraft. The company also released video footage of successful first taxi tests of the aircraft, designed to evaluate ground handling qualities and the performance of the fuel-cell electric powertrain at low power settings and airspeeds.

The Dash 8-300 flying testbed has a megawatt-class hydrogen fuel cell powertrain installed in one of its nacelles. The powertrain is in a configuration that closely resembles the company’s first product—a conversion kit for ATR 72-600 regional airliners—which is expected to be certified and in commercial passenger service starting in 2025. Notably, Universal Hydrogen’s powertrain does not utilize a hybrid battery architecture—a major innovation—with all of the power transmitted directly from the fuel cells to the electric motor, significantly decreasing weight and lifecycle cost.