German hydrogen aircraft HY4 claims altitude record


HY4, the hydrogen powered four-seater aircraft developed by Stuttgart, Germany’s H2FLY, has achieved what it claims is a world record altitude of 7,230ft.

Having first flown in 2016, the demonstrator aircraft has conducted more than 90 test flights and is being used as a development platform for a planned 40-seater hydrogen-electric Dornier 328, which H2FLY says will be introduced in 2025.

Alongside claiming the altitude record, in the past week HY4 also carried out a 77 mile (124km)  journey between Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen, the first time such a flight has been made between two major airports, according to H2FLY.

“This is a remarkable achievement for H2FLY, as no other hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft has flown between two commercial airports to date,” said  Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY.

“We are also thrilled to have set what we believe to be a new world record by reaching an altitude of over 7,000ft with our HY4 aircraft. We want to thank our long-time partners Stuttgart Airport, University of Ulm, DLR Stuttgart, Friedrichshafen Airport, and AERO Friedrichshafen, for supporting us in our mission to make sustainable travel a reality.”

The intercity flight was taken so that H2FLY and its aircraft can participate in the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow, taking place from April 27. Having been tested exclusively around Stuttgart airport since its inception, HY4 will now be presented to the public for the first time at the AERO show, where this year’s theme is sustainability.

“Sustainable aviation is the central topic at this year’s AERO Friedrichshafen,” head of AERO Roland Bosch and show director Tobias Bretzel of AERO Friedrichshafen said in a joint statement.

“We are, therefore, really pleased that Prof Dr Kallo and his team from H2FLY are celebrating a trade show world premiere at AERO Friedrichshafen with the HY4 hydrogen-electric aircraft. For more than ten years, we have been showcasing innovations from the field of electric aviation as part of the e-flight-expo.”

H2FLY will be at the air show from April 27 to 30 in Hall A7.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering 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 becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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