L2 Aerospace and Cella Energy have teamed up to develop hydrogen storage technology for small, fuel-cell-powered unmanned aircraft systems and potentially other, larger manned and unmanned vehicles. The companies are displaying a mockup of a concept design here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 3 Stand B25).
Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a UK- based company founded by a small group of scientists and engineers, is reaching out to the aviation industry in the hopes of marketing a carbon-neutral jet fuel made from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
The presence of Parker Hannifin Corp. (Hall 5 Stand D36) at this Paris Air Show underscores its research-and-development commitment in fields such as system health, “adaptive energy” and fuel tank safety. For example, its energy-harvesting predictive health monitoring device will allow operators to supervise the vitality of an aircraft’s systems by measuring component vibrations during flight.
With oil prices and financial markets so unstable, one could easily assume that global warming and alternative fuels are far from the minds of most aircraft operators. However, achieving sustainable growth in the aviation industry was the focus of a recent “Greener by Design” lecture hosted by London’s Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).
A fuel-cell-powered electric airplane is the goal of Worcester, Mass.-based Advanced Technology Products and its nonprofit arm, the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology Education. At Oshkosh, ATP announced its receipt of a $400,000 NASA grant to develop a fuel cell and exhibited a modified DynAero Lafayette III, built and donated by American Ghiles Aircraft of Deland, Fla. The airplane is being developed in three phases.
Airbus in late February successfully tested an emissions-free fuel cell in flight. The hydrogen- and oxygen-based fuel cell system generated up to 20 kilowatts of electrical power on an A320 test aircraft, and the output was used to power the aircraft’s electric motor pump for the back-up hydraulic circuit that operates the aircraft’s ailerons.
The ultra-light Akoya, an original amphibian twin-seater, is to make its first flight by this summer. The Akoya can takeoff from land, water or even snow thanks to innovative features, Lisa Airplanes CEO Erick Herzberger explained to EBACE Convention News. Simultaneously, the Chambery, France-based company is working on a fuel-cell powered aircraft, the Hy-Bird.
Airliners now entering revenue service will be around for the next few decades, over which time forecasters expect the cost of kerosene to rise significantly. Higher oil extraction costs and likely carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits will no doubt radically alter air transport economics. The industry will simultaneously have to drastically reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft engines and find alternative fuels for them.