Triumph in the Aeroverse: AeroDelft's Hydrogen Sojourn

AeroDelftImage Source: AeroDelft


AeroDelft, a Netherlands-based student team, completes a successful month-long ground testing campaign for a gaseous hydrogen powertrain for their "Phoenix" aircraft. The hydrogen fuel cell, activated three times during the tests, aims to power an electric motor for the aircraft's maiden flight in 2025. The innovative approach, transitioning to liquified cryogenic hydrogen in 2026, marks a milestone in AeroDelft's pursuit of sustainable aviation.


AeroDelft, an assembly of over 50 students in Delft, the Netherlands, recently marked a significant milestone in their aviation endeavors. The team successfully concluded a month-long ground testing campaign for a gaseous hydrogen (GH2) powertrain designed for their innovative aircraft, the "Phoenix."

During the testing, the GH2 fuel cell was activated three times, demonstrating its coherent performance. The system, designed for the "Phoenix" aircraft, generates electricity through an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, with only heat and water as by-products. The fuel cell, anticipated to reach 120kW, will power an electric motor in the aircraft's nose, propelling it through the air.

The Phoenix is set to achieve its first flight using GH2 in 2025, followed by a transition to liquified cryogenic hydrogen (LH2) in 2026. LH2, known for denser energy storage, promises increased range capabilities and the potential to carry more payload compared to pressurized gaseous hydrogen (GH2).

While the recent success in GH2 testing is a crucial step, the team acknowledges that several technical and regulatory challenges must be addressed before achieving the ultimate goal of LH2 flight. The transition to GH2 serves as an intermediary step, providing valuable insights to overcome hurdles on the path to LH2 flight.

This achievement adds to AeroDelft's impressive list of milestones since receiving the airframe in July 2021. The team envisions not just a successful test, but a groundbreaking journey toward sustainable aviation solutions.


In conclusion, AeroDelft's successful ground testing campaign for their gaseous hydrogen powertrain marks a pivotal moment in their quest for sustainable aviation. The team's vision, embodied in the "Phoenix" aircraft, showcases a future where electrochemical reactions power flights with only heat and water as by-products. With plans to transition to liquified cryogenic hydrogen, AeroDelft's innovative approach promises increased range capabilities and the potential for carrying more payload, pushing the boundaries of sustainable aviation. The team's dedication to overcoming challenges and achieving milestones positions them as trailblazers in the aeroverse.

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