First Fuel Cell Powered Piloted Aircraft Flies

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Antares DLR-H2, the first manned aircraft able to takeoff and fly powered by fuel cells took its first flight this week on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany.

The Antares is a motor glider with a very low noise footprint and zero CO2 emissions. It was developed as a testbed for fuel cell technologies by the DLR Institute for Technical Thermodynamics (Stuttgart, Germany) in collaboration with Lange Aviation, BASF Fuel Cells and Serenergy (Denmark).

The fuel cell system generates electrical power through a direct, electromechanical reaction of hydrogen and ambient-air oxygen. The only by-product of this process is water.

"At this stage, we have only tapped into a fraction of the performance capabilities of this technology for aerospace applications. The Antares DLR-H2 will help us to make much greater use of these areas of potential." stated Dr. Josef Kallo from the DLR Institute for Technical Thermodynamics.