March 15, 2023
I’m always on the lookout for good climate news. Here’s a piece of good news.
A fledgling energy company looking to develop true zero-emissions aircraft just took a massive leap forward with the first-ever regional passenger flight powered principally on hydrogen. In its first test launch, a 40-seat ATR 72-600 twin engine commuter plane flew for 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet above mean sea level.
The flight, conducted under an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate, was the first in a two-year flight test campaign expected to culminate in 2025 with entry into passenger service of ATR 72 regional aircraft converted to run on hydrogen.
Already, the start-up commercial air carrier Connect Airlines, has signed a purchase agreement with Universal Hydrogen Co. for 75 hydrogen powertrains for the company’s passenger jets.
Worldwide air travel accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gases.