China Successfully Launches First Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft
China has become the third nation in the world to successfully test an aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells next to the US and Germany, China's Ministry of Science and Technology said.
The aircraft was developed by scientists from the Dalian Bureau of Chemical Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Liaoning Aviation Research Institute on the basis of electroanalyt RX1E two-seat electric aircraft, Z-news link reported. The test flight was held in Shenyang, and it was China's first test flight for the environment-friendly hydrogen fuel cells.
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During the test flight, the plane reached an altitude of 320 meters (some 1,050 feet) above the ground and emitted zero pollution, Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of the ministry, reported.
Electroanalyt RX1E is a single-double machine that can fly for 60 minutes with a speed of up to 120 kilometers per hour and a total charging time of one and a half hours. It was approved for operation in March 2016.
The aircraft is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell capable of producing 20 kilowatt of battery energy, which is necessary for the operation during its take-off and climb.
The aircraft's output performance, safety, and reliability, as well as the environmental adaptability of the fuel cell system all met technical requirements during the flight, according to the ministry.
A hydrogen-powered aircraft is an aeroplane that is powered by hydrogen fuel. Unlike most aircraft that uses wings for storing fuel, hydrogen aircraft are usually designed with the liquid hydrogen fuel carried inside the fuselage, in order to minimize the surface area and reduce boil off.
HY4 became the world's first passenger aircraft with an engine powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, developed by Germany's DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics. Its first flight took place on Sept. 29, 2016 in Stuttgart Airport, Germany.