Universal Hydrogen’s Dash 8-300 turboprop running with one engine converted to fly with electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells made its second flight on June 5, the company announced. The 30-minute second flight (twice as long as the first) from its base in Moses Lake, Washington reached 5,000 feet (vs. 3,500 feet on the first flight). The test aircraft, dubbed Lightning McClean, first flew on March 2. Mark Cousin, Universal Hydrogen CTO, told TAC the startup is advancing toward maturing its powertrain’s reliability and endurance and is expected to move to eventually move to Mojave, California as it seeks to advance a supplemental type certificate for the ATR72.
While progress for flying is an important metric for the company’s industrialization, the progress toward certified storage capability and infrastructure for liquid and gaseous hydrogen (for which the company was established) remains its central pillar and perhaps the most important for gauging its long-term viability.
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