Universal Hydrogen shows aircraft propeller spun entirely on hydrogen fuel

Universal Hydrogen spun the propellers of its De Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 on hydrogen for the first time
Universal Hydrogen

Universal Hydrogen, a company that aims to develop a hydrogen conversion kit for the ATR 72 and the De Havilland Canada DHC-8-300, showed a DHC-8-300’s propeller being spun entirely on hydrogen power. 

The company published a video of the test on January 19, 2023. According to Universal Hydrogen, footage of the taxiing test is due soon, as it continues to progress on its program and the DHC-8-300 shown in the video.

American Airlines is one of the investors in the company, as the carrier placed a strategic equity investment in Universal Hydrogen in October 2022. The carrier invested an undisclosed sum, joining the likes of Airbus Ventures, GE Aviation, and other companies as a strategic investor in the entity.  

Universal Hydrogen is led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Eremenko, who is the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Airbus and United Technologies Corporation (UTC). The latter merged with Raytheon Corporation in April 2020, forming Raytheon Technologies. 

The company plans to begin flying passengers on hydrogen-powered regional aircraft in 2025. In September 2022, it signed a collaborative agreement with DAT, a Denmark-based regional airline that also offers ACMI and wet-lease solutions, and Everfuel, a Danish energy production and distribution company. 

The three parties will join forces to “transform regional aviation in Denmark by enabling completely zero-emissions flight using clean hydrogen by the end of 2025.” Universal Hydrogen will provide hydrogen conversion kits for DAT’s ATR 72-600s that fly domestic routes in Denmark, eventually converting all of the airline’s turboprops to be hydrogen-powered by 2030. 

“Collectively, DAT, Everfuel, and Universal Hydrogen possess the expertise needed to achieve Denmark’s ambitious target of achieving not just net zero but true zero emissions commercial flight as early as 2025,” said Eremenko at the time. 

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