We look forward to the first aircraft powered by fuel cells. As announced by Johannes Hartmann from the DLR Institute of System Architectures in Aviation, hydrogen propellers are expected to be available in 2040, so that we will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The German aviation Center wants to prepare such a propulsion for aircraft that performs flights over a distance of approx. 2 000 km. A hydrogen-powered aircraft could be an alternative to the best-known models: the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. Engineers are trying to improve turbine efficiency, primarily because of the required power for take-off.
During take-off and climb, the aircraft requires significantly more thrust. It could therefore be powered by two gas turbines, but they would have to be adapted to work with hydrogen.
The development of a turboprop drive is also being considered, where a hydrogen gas turbine drives the propeller. These aircraft would fly a bit slower, at about 800 kilometers per hour, but fuel consumption would drop significantly.
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