Netherlands committed to achieve hydrogen passenger flights to London by 2028
A consortium of 17 Dutch companies and organizations is committed to flying on hydrogen with medium-sized passenger aircraft up to 750 kilometers from 2028. The national government pushed 100 million euros into the project, AD reports.
The consortium includes Fokker and TU Delft. Hydrogen-powered passenger planes are considered the holy grail of sustainable flying, as they don't emit harmful greenhouse gases. Hydrogen is also a very light fuel to carry. They're also considered a future dream. At the moment, innovators are mainly experimenting with small aircraft.
But the Dutch consortium is convinced that they will be able to make commercially profitable flights between Rotterdam and London, for example, possible from 2028 for planes carrying 40 to 80 passengers. They'll do so by converting existing medium-sized propeller planes. Instead of storing fuel in the wings, the Hydrogen Aircraft Powertrain and Storage System (HAPSS) has a hydrogen tank in the aircraft's tail. The hydrogen is transported to the engine and converted into electricity, which drives the propellers.
"We take out the engine and build a new system in it, after which it flies on nitrogen," entrepreneur Michel van Ierland, who has helped bring the consortium together over the past two years, said to AD. "There are currently about 1,500 aircraft flying around the world that are suitable for our package. We have already received the first request for a quote."
The consortium estimates that flying on hydrogen will make tickets up to 10 percent more expensive. But they expect consumers will be willing to pay that if their flight is really green. "We are going to accelerate the greening of aviation," Rinke Zonneveld of development company InnovationQuarter said to the newspaper. "With flying on hydrogen, the Dutch aviation industry will once again lead the way."