Boeing tests manned hydrogen-powered plane

Posted by Laura Grant on April 7, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy, Transport

A manned hydrogen-powered plane has made three successful test flights in Spain, the BBC reports. The small propeller-driven craft was developed by Boeing. This was the first flight to have a human pilot on board.

According to the BBC, Boeing said it did not believe fuel cells could be the primary power source for large passenger aircraft. But it could be used as a secondary source of energy for large planes, according to Nieves Lapena, the engineer responsible for the test flights, but this may take some time to develop – about 20 years.

The hydrogen fuel cells combine oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity to power the plane’s propellors. The only exhaust products are heat and water, the report says.

See a video clip of the plane in flight on the BBC website

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