- China is the 3rd country in the world to successfully complete a maiden flight with a hydrogen fuel plane
- This is a major step towards low-carbon & sustainable transport
China has completed 10 test flights for its new hydrogen fuel aircraft as it tries out various tails and types of landing gear. The aircraft, named LQ-H, has a 6m wingspan and uses hydrogen as its main source of power. The hydrogen is supplemented with a lithium battery system.
Hydrogen contains a high amount of energy which produces little pollution when it is burnt to produce power. To produce the necessary energy to fly the plane, a fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. As long as hydrogen is supplied, the fuel cell will never lose its charge. The water is a pure enough by-product to drink.
The use of hydrogen in powering transport is very promising as it is a low-carbon sustainable solution. Hydrogen can be obtained from various sources such as solar and wind power. China is already at the forefront of harvesting energy from those sources making hydrogen easy to procure.
The plane has flown for more than 24 hours. Apart from its sustainable use of energy, the aircraft makes use of new technologies such as 3D printing and compound materials to make it more lightweight. Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China which runs the testing of the new plane, says it is a concrete step in the global aviation manufacturing industry.
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