Hydrogen for aeronautics

The use of hydrogen in a jet engine needs some adjustments but does not pose serious problems. The space industry, a major consumer of hydrogen control well the industry and the aviation industry could import this expertise to the demands of air travel. The first American plane flew B57 with hydrogen by 1958. A Soviet airliner Tupolev TU 155 flew in 1988 with a tank of hydrogen stored in the rear of the fuselage.



In Europe in the 2000s, the project led by Airbus Deutschland Cryoplane, demonstrated the feasibility of the concept based on an Airbus A300, but the project was never realized. The special application dedicated to aviation is that it requires the use of liquefied hydrogen because of its energy density, which is still four times the volume of kerosene. These new constraints should lead to rethink the architecture of the aircraft with the volume and exposed surface increases, causing an increase in consumption of 9-34%. Just for the estimated intra-European flights in 2001, the use of hydrogen production would require 30 000 tonnes per day of liquid hydrogen.