Universal Hydrogen successfully flew a 40-passenger aircraft using primarily hydrogen during part of a 15-minute flight early on Thursday morning, marking the second milestone for hydrogen-powered aviation this year. The Los Angeles-based startup replaced one of the plane's two turbine engines with a fuel-cell electric powertrain. The other conventional engine remained in place, though the pilot was able to reduce its use. Universal Hydrogen plans to conduct a series of flight tests over the next two years and aims to enter a hydrogen-fueled aircraft into passenger service in 2025. Its first customer will likely be Connect Airlines, a private jet operator proposing to run a regional passenger service between Toronto, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Terry Vlisidis