Hydrogen powered plane. Source: ZeroAvia A hydrogen fuel-cell plane that’s capable of carrying passengers completed its maiden flight this week, in another step forward for low and zero-emission flight. ZeroAvia’s six-seater Piper M-class aircraft — which has been retrofitted with the device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity — undertook a taxi, take-off, full pattern circuit and landing on Thursday. ZeroAvia has said the trip, described as a “hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft,” is a “world first.” Other examples of hydrogen-fuel cell planes that can host passengers do exist, however. Back in 2016, the HY4 aircraft, which is able to carry four people, undertook its first official journey when it flew from Stuttgart Airport in Germany. The HY4 was developed by researchers at the German Aerospace Center alongside “industry and research partners.” Thursday’s ZeroAvia flight was carried out at the company’s research and development site at Cranfield Airport, in England — 50 miles north of London. The airport is owned by Cranfield University. “While some experimental aircraft have flown using hydrogen fuel cells as a power source, the size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly […]

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