H2FLY, a Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for aircraft, has announced that its demonstrator aircraft, the HY4, set a new world record for hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft by flying at an altitude of 2204m.

The altitude record comes on the heels of the business flying a 124 km route between Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen just before Easter, the first time a hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft has been piloted between two commercial airports.

Commenting Professor Dr Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY said, “This is a remarkable achievement for H2FLY, as no other hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft has flown between two commercial airports to date. We are also thrilled to have set what we believe to be a new world record by reaching an altitude of over 7,000 feet with our HY4 aircraft. We want to thank our long-time partners Stuttgart Airport, University of Ulm, DLR Stuttgart, Friedrichshafen Airport, and AERO Friedrichshafen, for supporting us in our mission to make sustainable travel a reality.”

The trip to Friedrichshafen was to attend the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow, at which the HY4 is to be unveiled to the public for the first time. Previously all test flights have been from Stuttgart Airport, a long-standing collaborator of H2FLY, including assisting the company with the necessary infrastructure.

Walter Schoefer, Speaker of the Board of Flughafen Stuttgart said, “We are delighted that HY4 has achieved this next technical milestone. This is another step on the long road of the aviation transformation process towards a more climate-friendly air transport. We see hydrogen-electric engines as the key to zero-emission flying and have therefore been promoting the HY4 project for many years.”

Claus-Dieter Wehr, Managing Director of Friedrichshafen Airport added, “In the airport’s more than one-hundred-year history, this is the first time a hydrogen-powered aircraft has landed here in Friedrichshafen. We are very pleased that we can thus play our part in the further development and testing of hydrogen-electric propulsion. Particularly in view of the numerous projects on sustainable mobility in aviation, I see great opportunities for the Friedrichshafen site to create the framework conditions for innovative aviation companies and to attract them here.”

During multiple flying campaigns and more than 90 take offs, the four-seat HY4 established the potential of hydrogen-electric propulsion solutions in aviation. It also acts as a test platform for further developing the propulsion system, laying the groundwork for the construction of a 40-seat Dornier 328 powered by hydrogen, which will be built in collaboration with Deutsche Aircraft by 2025.