Airbus hydrogen APU replacement tests aim to build a bridge for future propulsion

HyPower is not Airbus’s first foray into fuel cells for auxiliary power, but the broader push for hydrogen gives this tech demo increased relevance

Log-in here if you’re already a subscriber

Release Date
May 15, 2024
Airbus hydrogen APU replacement tests aim to build a bridge for future propulsion

In recent years, hydrogen has been gaining increasing momentum as an alternative fuel for aviation, with most development efforts focused on hydrogen propulsion. Players including H2Fly, Universal Hydrogen and ZeroAvia are deep into programs to develop hydrogen-powered civil aircraft, but all of them face long and daunting paths to certified products.

At the other end of the development spectrum is a more modest effort by Airbus, announced last June at the 2023 Paris Air Show, to demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell as a replacement for the auxiliary power unit (APU) on an A330. Last week brought confirmation that the project is well under way, when the startup H3 Dynamics announced its selection by Airbus UpNext to provide a customized 500-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell for the widebody technology demonstrator.

Related: Already flying on hydrogen, H2Fly sets a practical course for green aviation

Replacing an APU on a conventional jetliner isn’t as glamorous as developing a zero-emissions aircraft (which Airbus is also concurrently pursuing with its ZeroE effort). Nevertheless, this incremental step could be an important one in aviation’s broader journey to sustainability, H3 Dynamics CEO Taras Wankewycz said in an interview with The Air Current.

Subscribe to continue reading...

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.