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Zero emission powertrain developer H2FLY has announced a joint project alongside Stuttgart Airport to develop and erect a Center for Excellence in Hydrogen Aviation. Together, the aviation teams will implement a purpose-built facility at the airport specifically designed to support hydrogen electric plane testing for passenger flights.

H2FLY is a company that specializes in the development of hydrogen electric aviation technology, hoping to be one of the first to deliver a qualified propulsion system to market. We’ve recently covered news of other companies completing their maiden testing flights using hydrogen electric planes, but H2FLY’s first flight was all the way back in 2016.

The HY4 hydrogen electric plane that completed that flight is still going through testing and broke a world record in 2022 when it soared above 7,000 feet in the sky during a 77-mile journey across Germany.

With nearly a decade of experience in zero-emissions aviation, H2FLY says it is continually seeking out ways to support its partnerships and accelerate its technology in Germany and the rest of the EU. As a Stuttgart-based company, H2FLY has found support at its local airport, where it will implement a new facility for hydrogen electric plane testing, research, and development.

Stuttgart to become hub for hydrogen electric plane testing

H2FLY states that the Hydrogen Aviation Center at Stuttgart Airport will be developed and constructed as a joint project between both parties and will be supported by the government of Baden-Württemberg using funding from its Ministry of Transport.

The Center itself will provide a centrally located aviation facility where businesses and scientific institutes alike can perform development and testing of hydrogen electric propulsion with the goal of delivering zero emission passenger planes someday. Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann spoke:

We’ve been following our own hydrogen roadmap in Baden-Württemberg for two years. With hydrogen set to play a crucial role in tomorrow’s transport and logistics sector, one of our aims is to establish ourselves as a leading region in the transformation of aviation. To achieve this, we need concrete actions – such as the new Center of Excellence for Hydrogen in Aviation at Stuttgart Airport which is being co-financed by the government of Baden-Württemberg to the tune of €5.5 million. Aircraft such as those being developed here point the way to the future of emission-free flight. This project will enable our region to become not just a center of R&D for hydrogen aircraft, but eventually also a manufacturing center, and demonstrate how we are countering climate change with a spirit of innovation.

This footprint in Stuttgart will eventually consist of a dedicated hangar with testing stands, workshops, plus an integration area for hydrogen electric plane conversions or installations. The joint project is also planning an outdoor area for demonstrations.

H2FLY states the testing infrastructure will require mega-watt scale components and subsystems as well as close collaboration with the airport, commercial companies, and scientific institutes. Looking ahead the next few years, H2FLY expects hydrogen electric planes to be able to transport 40 passengers distances of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles), but there is still plenty of testing that will need to take place.

The Hydrogen Aviation Center is expected to open in late 2024 and is expected to become the hub for hydrogen electric plane testing and development and H2FLY welcomes all interested organizations to utilize the facilities.

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