The hydrogen-powered hypersonic plane reaches Australia from Europe in 4 hours

Devine Delma | 04/17/2023 02:00

It currently takes about 20 hours to fly from Europe to a destination as far away as Australia on a regular passenger plane. It is understandable, because you have to fly around the world. However, a Swiss startup wants to reduce that travel time to just over four hours – with a hydrogen-powered hypersonic passenger plane.

the euronews The article reveals that Destinus has been testing its prototype aircraft for the past few years and has announced successful test flights of its second prototype – the Eiger – at the end of 2022.

One step

The company has now announced that it is participating in a program run by the Spanish Ministry of Science, which is part of the Spanish government’s plans to develop hydrogen-powered supersonic flights. The agency overseeing the Ministry’s program, Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial, selected the project as part of the Plan de Tecnológías Aeronáuticas (PTA) strategic initiative.

The project, which currently has a total investment of 12 million euros, includes companies and technology centers as well as Spanish universities.

“We are very pleased to have won these grants, especially as they are clear signs that Destinus is aligned with the strategic directions of Spain and Europe to promote hydrogen aviation. For technology companies like us, access to EU recovery funds is essential to conduct the advanced research and accelerate innovation required for global competitiveness. “With these grants, hydrogen-based solutions for aviation are even closer to realization,” said Davide Bonetti, Vice President of Business Development and Product Development at Destinos.

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Between Frankfurt and Sydney in 4 hours 15 minutes

Hydrogen energy is the subject of much research and development, and proponents cite the green properties of burning hydrogen, as burning hydrogen produces two main products, heat and water.

The amount of heat generated is a design challenge. Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have recently developed 3D-printed catalysts that they say are capable of powering hypersonic flight, acting as a coolant for the intense heat generated during flights at speeds five times the speed of sound, or about 6,100 km/h.

At this speed, future commercial airlines could fly between London and New York in about 90 minutes. Swiss start-up Destinos claims its technology will make a flight from Frankfurt to Sydney take just 4 hours and 15 minutes instead of 20, while a flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai will take two hours and 45 minutes, eight hours less than it currently makes. .

In June 2022, Destinus partnered with Spanish engine maker ITP Aero to develop a hydrogen engine testing facility. Support from the Spanish government will finance the construction of a test plant near Madrid, where air-powered hydrogen engines will be tested.

Another €15 million grant project funds research into aspects of liquid hydrogen propulsion. The project is part of efforts to make Spain a leader in the development and production of hydrogen-based transportation in several sectors.

Featured image source: Destinus

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