Leading Experts to Address Hydrogen for Aero Applications
Following up on the successful programs on hydrogen for aviation produced by the VFS Hydrogen electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) Council in 2020-2021, VFS is hosting the next logical follow-on, a workshop to bring leading experts to discuss the promise, progress and barriers of implementing hydrogen fuel cells for eVTOL and other types of propeller aircraft. This is part of a new effort — called H2-Aero — to help accelerate development and scale on both the hydrogen infrastructure as well as the fuel cell aircraft.
Topics include aviation-relevant hydrogen storage (onboard and ground), production, transport, fuel cells in aerospace, synergies with ground infrastructure, demonstration project and use cases and cross-industry applications, as well as aircraft system considerations.
The event will feature two days (March 29–30) of informative presentations and insightful discussions (the symposium), as well as a workshop for planning the H2-Aero project. As a plus, there will be a tour of Shell’s hydrogen and fuel cell heavy duty vehicle facilities at the Port of Long Beach, California, on Thursday morning, March 31.
Registration: $250 for VFS members and $350 for non-members. Register today! The fee includes lunches, coffee, access to the meetings and event video recordings, and the Shell tour. Note: this is now a hybrid event with virtual registration available as well; in addition to the connection to the meeting, virtual attendees will get access to the video recordings.
There are challenges decarbonizing the aerospace industry, especially due to lightweighting and powertrain needs. Larger, heavier eVTOL aircraft that require more power for sustained flight need fuel cells with hydrogen combined with batteries to achieve zero-emission, all-electric, long-range flights.
Despite the clear advantages of utilizing hydrogen, it still hasn’t been adopted in aviation at large in North America. Both gaseous and liquid hydrogen are standardized, but not yet at scale or developed for use for aircraft. Other impediments such as the lack of infrastructure, transporting hydrogen and high costs due to the prototype nature of the industry today. The H2-Aero initiative is seeking to think ‘outside the box’ as it’s certainly possible to bring hydrogen at scale, especially in conjunction with other forms of transportation such as airport ground equipment.
Although multiple hydrogen consortia and government bodies have published roadmaps, and the UK and EU have made great strides in this area, there is little traction for hydrogen aviation in the US. The H2-Aero Team is engaging with the government, industry and academic organizations to bring that H2 for eVTOL, eSTOL and eVTOL to the forefront — because aviation is one of the most challenging transportation industries to decarbonize and stands to benefit the most from hydrogen. Though the original “VFS H2eVTOL Council” was primarily focused on vertical flight, VFS and its partners have now embarked on a new mission to widen the scope towards finding a common hydrogen technology for aircraft and airports. There is also a vision to help launch a Public-Private Partnership related towards hydrogen and fuel cell aircraft demonstration, leading to supporting the scale-up of hydrogen in a “hub.”
VFS formed H2-Aero in 2022 to tackle these tough challenges, to be the US voice to bring hydrogen and aviation experts together with the goal of developing both a roadmap and a Public-Private Partnership with government and industry. VFS hopes to help accelerate the future of sustainable flight, towards commercialization of hydrogen aviation with this game-changing capability.
As some background to VFS activities, learn more about hydrogen for aircraft from dozens of VFS news postings from the past five years.