MTU Aero Engines continues to progress with development of its liquid hydrogen Flying Fuel Cell, “steadily advancing the complete electrification of the powertrain” and competing a successful test campaign of the fuel tank system. Test cells for the “revolutionary drive technology” are also under construction in Munich.

Together with MT Aerospace, MTU is developing a complete liquid hydrogen aircraft fuel system for commercial aviation that consists of tanks, sensors, heat exchangers, valves, safety systems and regulators, notes the manufacturer. The first system has now been tested in Augsburg, with MTU FFC chief engineer Barnaby Law explaining that verification of “the most important operating modes is a breakthrough for hydrogen aviation technology”.

Meanwhile, test fuel cells are also being built for further research, the first consisting of a hydrogen infrastructure including cooling water and a compressed air supply. It is designed for an output of 500kW per stack and is slated to start operations in 2025.

MTU’s flying fuel cell project will also directly inform the joint HEROPS (hydrogen electric zero emission propulsion system) initiative, a collaboration between several leading industry partners to “demonstrate the feasibility of the groundbreaking new technologies” through a scalable ground demonstrator. Although initially analysing powertrain systems with an output of up to 1.8MW, the modular architecture of this design should, in time, scale up to between two and four meagwatts.
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