The world’s first regional passenger plane powered by hydrogen-electric power is set to take to the skies as early as 2025, paving the way for a new generation of zero-emissions air travel.
Designed to fly up to four passengers for distances between 500km to 5,000km, the Element One is described as a quiet, ultra-light, zero carbon aircraft “several orders of magnitude better” than battery-electric aircrafts.
The plane merges hydrogen fuel cell technology with a distributed electric aircraft propulsion design.
A prototype of the aircraft is set to launch in 2025.
The new form of aerial mobility is being developed primarily to open more aerial routes between smaller towns and underserviced areas, using an existing network of small-scale airports and aerodromes.
The project is designed by Singapore-based HES Energy Systems, which specialises in building high performance hydrogen fuel systems for autonomous aerial vehicles.
HES has also struck a partnership with French startup Wingly, which offers flight-sharing services for regional air travel.
In France alone, only 10% of the country’s 450 airfields are connected by regional airlines.
Hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft like Element One can help connect the remaining 90%, says Wingly. – AFP Relaxnews