Hydrogen in the skies.
Airlines face growing pressure over the pollution they generate. One solution may be hydrogen: in September the German Aerospace Centre (GAC) tested its prototype of the first ever passenger aircraft powered with a hydrogen fuel cell. The four-seater has a top speed of 200 km/h and a range of up to 1,500 km. The GAC believe that within 25 years a 40-passenger craft could be powered with the technology, which is emissions-free when using sustainable hydrogen.
A number of research institutes and manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, are looking into the potential of hydrogen. EasyJet is also developing a hybrid plane, using hydrogen power integrated into its traditional engines. This system would be used for taxiing on the tarmac, thus saving up to 50,000 tonnes of fuel a year.
By Erik Freudenreich