MIT looks ahead to hydrogen's aviation future

Sept. 20, 2023
Challenges include refueling logistics, safety, and H2 production, Rebecca Heilweil writes for IEEE Spectrum.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., - As investment in hydrogen-powered flight expands, airports and air carriers today are realizing that it’s not enough to retrofit or design new planes for hydrogen power. So while researchers and companies large and small invest in the zero-carbon future of the field, others are beginning to study what supplies and infrastructure on the ground would also be needed to make hydrogen aviation a reality, Rebecca Heilweil writes for IEEE SpectrumContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 September 2023 - “Hydrogen may be a good thing, but you gotta look at it from the full system level, right?” asks R. John Hansman, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at MIT and director of the university’s International Center for Air Transportation. “Because it won’t work unless you have all the pieces to make it work as an operating system. There’s a lot of technology that would have to be developed.”

Heilweil writes that a paper co-authored by Hansman and MIT students, looked at a case use where 100 airports would be provided enough hydrogen for longhaul flights each day.

"Just supporting liquid hydrogen–powered long-haul flights at these airports would amount to more than 30 percent of current global nuclear-energy production per day, according to the researchers’ calculations. Chicago O’Hare, for instance, would demand the equivalent of 719 tonnes of liquid hydrogen per day, Heilweil writes.

Related: Universal Hydrogen clears hurdle in zero-carbon plane bid

Related: Honeywell partners with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory on hydrogen fuel storage for UAV

Related: The first hydrogen-powered planes are taking flight

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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