• An artist's impression of Pipistrel's hydrogen-powered 19-seat shuttle. (Pipistrel)
    An artist's impression of Pipistrel's hydrogen-powered 19-seat shuttle. (Pipistrel)

Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel is part of a team developing a 19-seat hydrogen-powered passenger shuttle.

The project, revealed in Pipistrel USA's May 2020 newsletter, is for an aircraft designed for short-duration flights covering no more than about 270 nm, about the distance from Sydney to Grafton, NSW.

Pipistrel USA believes the aircraft could be used in the future to link major cities.

"Currently there are very few options to travel between major cities," the newsletter states. "The congested road network takes time to navigate and many of these cities are ideal to be linked with a hydrogen-powered aircraft shuttle service. Flying would reduce the time taken on these shorter trips down to one-third of the time needed for driving.

"Being hydrogen powered, the aircraft are themselves pollution free with the only by-product being water which is evaporated during the flight. Refuelling these aircraft can be completed in as little as five minutes, there is no engine warm up or any of the normal maintenance tasks required in conventional aircraft."

Pipistrel expects the aircraft could be operated for around one-quarter of conventional aircraft operating in the European Union.

Pipistrel are currently in the final stages of testing a dual hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for another project.

comments powered by Disqus