The Hydrogen Jet will take you from Paris to New York in 1.5 hours
What is a Hydrogen Jet?
A hydrogen-powered aircraft is an aeroplane that runs on hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen can be consumed in a jet engine or another type of internal combustion engine, or it can be used to power a fuel cell, which produces energy to power an electric propeller. It cannot be held in a standard wet wing, thus hydrogen tanks must be placed in the fuselage or supported by the wing.
Design of Hydrogen Jet
When constructing an aeroplane, where weight and volume are crucial, the low energy density of hydrogen presents issues. To minimise tank size, liquid hydrogen may be employed, necessitating cryogenic fuel tanks. Because cylindrical tanks need less surface area for thermal insulation, they are used in the fuselage rather than wet wings in traditional aircraft. Three times bigger fuel tanks, fully insulated and spherical or cylindrical, would greatly increase aircraft bulk and drag. Because of the greater wetted area, a bigger fuselage would bring more skin friction drag and wave drag; extra tank weight; and weight and balance changes during flight.
Precooled jet engines have been suggested to leverage this feature for cooling the intake air of hypersonic aircraft, or even for cooling the aircraft’s skin itself, notably for scramjet-powered aircraft.
Designs for a new hydrogen-powered plane might usher in a new age of hypersonic flying, reducing flight durations across the world to a few hours.
The Concorde, the supersonic product of Anglo-French engineering, was the final aircraft to accomplish the feat. In its prime, it flew at speeds of over 2,100 km/h across the Atlantic in roughly 3.5 hours.
With its hypersonic, hydrogen jet-powered passenger plane, a Swiss start-up hopes to reduce the current flight time from Paris to New York from 8 hours to an hour and a half.
While other businesses are experimenting with supersonic flying again, Destinus plans to develop the first commercial hydrogen-powered aircraft capable of travelling at five times the speed of sound and reaching heights of more than 33 km (nearly 100,000 ft).
For the previous few years, the business has been testing its prototype aircraft, declaring successful test flights of its second prototype, Eiger, near the end of 2022.
Investment (Hydrogen Jet)
In April, the business announced its participation in an initiative operated by Spain’s Ministry of Science, which is part of the Spanish government’s aspirations to create hydrogen-powered supersonic planes.
The Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial, which oversees the ministry’s plan, chose the project as a strategic effort under its Plan de Tecnologas Aeronáuticas (PTA).
Access to these EU recovery funds is critical for deep-tech businesses like ours to conduct advanced research and expedite the innovation required to compete on a global scale. Hydrogen-powered aeronautical mobility solutions will be one step closer to becoming a reality with this investment.
We’re attempting the impossible: flying people safely with hydrogen, with no emissions, and hypersonically. That’s four hours to travel around the planet. That is simply impossible supersonically.
Destinus is the director of advanced studies.
Hydrogen power is the topic of extensive study and development, with supporters emphasising its environmental credentials, as the major byproducts of hydrogen combustion are heat and water.
The initiative, which has a current investment of €12 million, combines enterprises, technical institutes, and Spanish institutions.
Frankfurt to Sydney takes 4 hours and 15 minutes.
It also offers up the possibility of reducing travel time throughout the world.
A standard passenger jet flight from Europe to a country like Australia presently takes roughly 20 hours.Destinus promises that their technology would reduce the duration of a trip from Frankfurt to Sydney from 20 hours to 4 hours 15 minutes and that a flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai will take 2 hours 45 minutes, eight hours less than it presently does.
Impact on the Environment
Hydrogen Jet with a fuel cell design emits no emissions while in operation, whereas aircraft with hydrogen as a fuel for a jet engine or an internal combustion engine emit no CO2 (a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change) but not NOx (a local air pollutant). The combustion of hydrogen in air results in the formation of NOx, i.e., the H 2 + 12O 2 H 2O reaction in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere results in the generation of NOx. However, hydrogen combustion emits up to 90% fewer nitrogen oxides than kerosene fuel and eliminates particulate matter generation.
If hydrogen can be obtained in sufficient quantities from low-carbon energy sources such as wind or nuclear, its usage in aircraft will emit fewer greenhouse gases than existing aircraft: water vapour and a trace amount of nitrogen oxide. Currently, only a small amount of hydrogen is generated by utilising low-carbon energy sources.