33th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences

15 - Guest lectures


J.P. Clark, Universal Hydrogen, United States

Airlines, aircraft manufacturers and propulsion solution providers are all under significant pressure from consumers, investors, and customers to reduce emissions and provide zero carbon emission flight. There is growing consensus that hydrogen as an energy source will play a key role in transforming aviation into a zero-carbon system over the next few decades. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that “hydrogen – as a primary energy source for propulsion, either for fuel cells, direct burn in thermal (gas turbine) engines or as a building block for synthetic liquid fuels – could feasibly power aircraft with entry into service by 2035 for short-range aircraft.” In this presentation, I will provide details of a hydrogen fuel cell-electric motor-propeller driven regional aircraft that is currently under development at Universal Hydrogen Co. for introduction into service in 2025 and show how regional aircraft powered by green hydrogen are economically competitive on a cost per available seat-mile (CASM) basis with carbon-based fueled aircraft when the novel UH2 hydrogen storage and distribution system is employed. I will also discuss the fundamental challenges with using fuel cell-electric propulsion on larger aircraft, as well as the aircraft and propulsion system characteristics that ultimately determine the need to transition to direct combustion of hydrogen.

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