Posted By RichC on April 4, 2008
There is an interesting article in MSNBC’s online Environment section where Boeing’s experimental aircraft researchers have flown a manned hydrogen fuel cell powered airplane. According to the article, Boeing Chief Technology Officer John Tracy told reporters that the fuel cell breakthrough is “full of promises for a greener future. Boeing recognizes that pollution represents a serious environmental challenge.”
Boeing’s experimental aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells
at airfield in Ocana, Spain.
The successful tests consisted of three flights in February and March at an airfield in Ocana, Spain and were seen as successful in every way. Boeing indicated that although the cost and infrastructure for hydrogen is high, that “fuel cells are two to three times more efficient in converting energy than today’s internal combustion engines.” They don’t expect fuel cells to power large aircraft, but believe this type of power will be ideal for small manned and particularly unmanned aircraft. “Over the longer term,” Boeing indicated that “solid oxide fuel cells could be applied to secondary power-generating systems, such as auxiliary power units for large commercial airplanes.”