French firm to revive 1930s brand with hydrogen-hybrid aircraft

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Avions Mauboussin is developing a hybrid hydrogen-fuelled aircraft under the Mauboussin French aviation brand from the 1930s.

Belfort, France-based company Avions Mauboussin was founded in 2017 and is developing two aircraft, the Alérion M1h, a two-seater hydrogen hybrid, and the Alcyon M3c, a six-seater hydrogen hybrid. Both are being designed to be clean and silent short take off and landing (STOL) aircraft targeted for making intercity journeys.

Aircraft made by Pierre Mauboussin in the 1930s broke endurance and speed records and were known for being efficient with low powered engines and aerodynamic designs. David Gallezot, founder of the new Avions Mauboussin said, “In 1928 Pierre Mauboussin founded Avions Mauboussin to make aviation accessible to more people. Today Avions Mauboussin is being reinvented to bring accessibility to the regions with the sustainable aviation of the 21st century.”

The Alérion M1h hybrid STOL is a light tandem two-seater with low wings and will initially use an electric / thermal hybrid power system with an output of 80kW (about 110 hp). Takeoff will be accomplished in electric mode while cruising will be in combustion mode at speeds of 250 km/h and a range of several hundred kilometres.

The first flight of the Alérion M1h is planned for 2022. The company then plans to integrate a hydrogen-powered turbine into the aircraft and fly and certificate it by 2025.

The next model, the Alcyon M3c will then be developed using the technologies that have been validated on the Alérion M1h and be rapidly delivered to the general aviation market, said Avions Mauboussin.

The Alcyon M3c is being developed to have a range of 1,500 km and will reach a cruise speed of 370 km/h. Certification and commercialisation are planned for 2026.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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