The high cost of fuel is making a lasting impression
on everyone and that fact is no more real than
the airlines. The fact is aircrafts require huge
amounts of fuel, and when the price of fuel is
sky high, some of those costs must be passed off
to consumers. This is a problem that scientists
have been working on for years and the answer
may have been in front of us all the time.
The fuel for X-43 will be
The use of hydrogen aircraft may be the answer
that we need. A simple fact is that hydrogen is
a clean and highly efficient fuel source that
is yet untapped. Why should NASA be the only industry
to use hydrogen? They have known for years that
hydrogen is far more advanced and beneficial than
the standard fossil fuels. This fact shows that
other industries are way behind in the wave of
Hydrogen aircraft would not only be cheaper to
operate but also much safer. The hydrogen aircraft
would be far more environmentally friendly and
the world would see a massive drop in the pollution
rate. So why are we not yet seeing hydrogen aircraft
produced? The answer is complicated.
For one thing, the technology is not yet there
for hydrogen aircraft. The perfect hydrogen based
engine has not been perfected and with this means
that any thing produced at this point would be
very expensive. This would not solve the problem
that we are having and could make it worse.
Next, you must consider that a standard for fueling
the hydrogen is not yet in place. For this to
take place, an efficient fuel delivery system
must be invented and properly tested. At this
point, the methods are not practical and very
There is also the matter of determining the range
that a hydrogen aircraft would have in respect
to fuel ratio. Until a hydrogen aircraft is put
into operational testing, this will not be possible.
The safety of all those aboard must be guaranteed
by knowing how long a hydrogen aircraft can travel
with the standard fuel capacity.
There is research being conducted however. According
to Flug Revue, "As early as 1956 tests took
place in the USA with a modified B-57 Canberra.
In 1988, a triple-jet hydrogen powered Tupolew
Tu-154 flew in the former Soviet Union. Since
the beginning of the nineties, Germany's Dasa
has been working on hydrogen propulsion systems
within the framework of the German-Russian Project
Cryoplane. An important future milestone will
be a hydrogen-powered demonstrator based on the
In addition, NASA, Boeing and the military are
all studying the feasibility of putting hydrogen
aircraft into our skyways. NASA has been using
hydrogen in their spacecraft for years so that's
nothing new. Boeing is looking into the commercial
applications, especially when it comes to cost
reduction. The military is looking as using hydrogen
aircraft for silent drones in war zones.
Recently, California company called AeroVironment,
has completed test flights with an ultralight
airplane powered by liquid hydrogen. The airplane
is powered by fuel cells that generate electricity
for the ultralights eight propellers.
All in all though, we see that hydrogen commercial
aircraft are still years away from practical use.
One day we will see the complete elimination of
fossil fuel powered vehicles and aircraft. For
that to happen, the technology must catch up to