German Government Funds Hydrogen-Fueled Aircraft Research

HY2FY's hydrogen-electric ‘HY4’ demonstrator aircraft
H2Fly’s hydrogen-electric ‘HY4’ demonstrator aircraft (Source: H2FLY)

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) has awarded €9.3 million to a consortium developing a hydrogen fuel cell system for commercial airplanes. The BALIS 2.0 project, led by H2FLY, aims to create a 350-kilowatt fuel cell system suitable for powering regional aircraft with 40-80 passenger capacities.

The project involves collaboration between H2FLY, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Diehl Aerospace. H2FLY will lead development and assembly of the fuel cell system. DLR will use its BALIS test field to study how these systems integrate with electric drives and optimize overall operations. Diehl Aerospace will contribute its expertise in high-performance platforms to facilitate efficient fuel cell integration and scaling.

The project is funded through the German Recovery and Resilience Plan and coordinated by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

H2FLY was acquired in 2021 by Joby Aviation, a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service.