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[Slashdot] - Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Plane Completes Maiden Flight In 'World First'

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ZeroAvia's hydrogen fuel-cell plane that's capable of carrying six passengers completed its maiden flight this week. The aircraft has been retrofitted with a device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. CNBC reports: ZeroAvia has said the trip, described as a "hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft," is a "world first." Other examples of hydrogen-fuel cell planes that can host passengers do exist, however. Back in 2016, the HY4 aircraft, which is able to carry four people, undertook its first official journey when it flew from Stuttgart Airport in Germany. The HY4 was developed by researchers at the German Aerospace Center alongside "industry and research partners." Thursday's ZeroAvia flight was carried out at the company's research and development site at Cranfield Airport, in England -- 50 miles north of London. The airport is owned by Cranfield University. "While some experimental aircraft have flown using hydrogen fuel cells as a power source, the size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly zero-emission flight very soon," Val Miftakhov, the CEO of ZeroAvia, said in a statement. The next step of the HyFlyer project will see ZeroAvia work toward carrying out a flight of between 250 and 300 nautical miles from the Orkney Islands, an archipelago located in waters off the north coast of mainland Scotland. The plane on this flight will use hydrogen-fuel cells. It's hoped this trip will happen before the end of 2020.

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