Gallery: Boeing Flies First Ever Battery Fuel Cell Plane!

 

Hydrogen fuel cells are not new technology but are an intriguing alternative power source. A fuel cell is a device that can convert hydrogen into electricity and is effectively a zero-emissions fuel source in operation (though not in manufacturing). It is commonly deployed in automobiles, and has also been used as a supplementary source of energy within buildings. Last week, Boeing demonstrated a small manned Dimona motor glider using only hydrogen fuel cells, making it the first time that a manned airplane has ever flown on this technology.

The plane was a two-seat Dimona motor glider with a 53 feet span adapted to fuel cell technology by an engineering team at Boeing Research & Technology Europe (BR&TE) in Madrid, with assistance from industry partners in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The milestone manned flight reached an altitude of 3,300 feet, using a combination of battery power and power generated by hydrogen fuel cells, and then flew an additional 20 minutes on hydrogen power only at a speed of 62 miles per hour.

Boeing says fuel cells are unlikely to be able to power a larger commercial plane, but they can certainly be used for smaller planes, unmanned aircraft and to power the smaller, secondary systems of large airliners. Still, it sure would be nice if Boeing could develop the system to be powerful enough to replace the more common petroleum based fuels required to fulfill our current aviation needs.

+Boeing Successfully Flies Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane

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6 Comments

  1. James Saul October 4, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Good positive technology is hope for the future of the world.

  2. Inhabitat » Merce... July 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    [...] news, announcing that it intends to transition its entire lineup of luxury automobiles to alternative fuels by 2015. The development underscores an industry trend of major auto manufacturers pushing the [...]

  3. Inhabitat » Merce... July 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    [...] news, announcing that it intends to transition its entire lineup of luxury automobiles to alternative fuels by 2015. The development underscores an industry trend of major auto manufacturers pushing the [...]

  4. James Jonas June 11, 2008 at 11:23 am

    This really makes me happy this is really getting good play on your site. Yesterday (june92008) when congress gave the oil and coal companies subsidies i wondered If alternatives products got as much or any at all.Keep up the real stories that will help us survive It brings me back when we started to go to the moon Kennedy was President. If we can go in outer space we can make alternative affordable. Lets get America back on track. Again Thank You
    Jim Jonas

  5. jmwa April 16, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Everyone should learn how to convert their car into a Hybrid because this is so easy, it costs almost nothing and it makes much more money STAY into your pocket ! Plus, it saves our planet from that much pollution. I recommend anyone who wants to save money on gas to use an Hydrogen Gas Saver ! I bought my device from hydrogen-gas-saver.com

  6. TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY:... April 8, 2008 at 11:02 am

    [...] Hydrogen fuel cells are not new technology but are an intriguing alternative power source. A fuel cell is a device that can convert hydrogen into electricity and is effectively a zero-emissions fuel source in operation (though not in … Read More [...]

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