On The Radar
The aviation industry is showing a growing interest in the potential for hydrogen propulsion as an alternative to battery-based electrical systems. In recent months, for instance, Airbus has increasingly signaled its intention to prioritize this aspect of its development work after testing two all-electric eVTOL technology demonstrators (the Vahana and CityAirbus).
Happy Takeoff is a U.S.-based startup developing a hydrogen-powered fixed-wing aircraft that it says will meet Uber's requirements for its planned urban air mobility air taxi network. The company has outlined the case for hydrogen over electric batteries in a white paper titled "Captive-Use Hydrogen For Advanced Air Mobility." The paper, which Happy Takeoff published Aug. 7. 2020, argues that hydrogen fuel cells are on track to be a more cost-effective solution for aircraft than batteries or internal combustion engines by 2026. It also addresses the infrastructure issues that have been commonly presented as part of the case against hydrogen.