The Dash 8-300 hydrogen electric airplane is ready for takeoff
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially given permission to Universal Hydrogen to begin testing the Dash 8-300 hydrogen electric airplane. It will be the largest hydrogen fuel cell aircraft to ever take flight when it ultimately begins its flight.
JetBlue invested in Universal Hydrogen in 2021, and the company said on Tuesday that the FAA had given it an airworthiness certificate in the experimental category. The Dash 8-300 hydrogen electric airplane may now be flown out of Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, following its approval.
“We are simultaneously providing a pragmatic, near-term solution for hydrogen infrastructure and delivery, as well as for converting existing passenger aircraft to use this lightweight, safe, and true-zero-emissions fuel,” said Universal Hydrogen co-founder and CEO Paul Eremenko. “Today’s milestones are essential, important steps to putting the industry on a trajectory to meet Paris Agreement obligations. The only alternative is curtailing aviation traffic growth to curb emissions.”
The Universal Hydrogen Dash 8-300 can run on hydrogen, which emits no carbon, thanks to a megawatt-class hydrogen-fuel-cell powertrain that’s installed in one of its nacelles. The plane does not employ a hybrid battery design, in contrast to the majority of its counterparts fueled by hydrogen fuel cells. According to the start-up, it instead makes use of a cutting-edge system that transmits power straight from the fuel cells to its electric motor.
This significantly decreases its weight and costs over its lifespan. The Universal Hydrogen Dash 8-300 can accommodate more than 40 passengers. The announcement on Tuesday was backed by a video of the Dash 8-300 successfully passing its taxi test.
Electrek has stated that Universal Hydrogen is working on more projects in addition to the Dash 8-300 hydrogen electric airplane. The company is currently developing a component that will enable the ATR 72-600 regional aircraft to run on hydrogen rather than conventional gasoline. Universal Hydrogen estimates that the plane will be certified and ready for commercial service in 2025.