New ultralight liquid hydrogen fuel tanks extend flight range

HyPoint, the company developing zero carbon-emission turbo air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility, has announced a partnership with Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories (GTL), an aerospace engineering research and development company, to integrate GTL’s advanced carbon-composite ‘BHL Cryotank’ liquid hydrogen fuel tanks with HyPoint’s fuel cell system.

BHL Cryotanks have demonstrated a 75 per cent mass reduction compared to existing state-of-the-art aerospace cryo tanks (metal or composite), enabling hydrogen aircraft and eVTOL makers to store as much as ten times more liquid hydrogen fuel without adding mass. As a result, aircraft can travel longer distances without refueling.

“Reducing weight is the most important factor for enabling longer-distance air travel with fewer stops to refuel,” said Dr. Alex Ivanenko, founder and CEO of HyPoint. “Our hydrogen fuel cell system offers better specific power performance compared with any alternative available today, opening the door to short-haul zero-emission hydrogen flight and urban air mobility. This partnership with GTL goes even further by offering aircraft and eVTOL makers a liquid hydrogen tank that is stronger and lighter than anything else on the market, thereby significantly increasing fuel capacity.

“By utilising this new fuel tank technology, longer-haul aircraft may be able to utilise hydrogen for the first time while eVTOL makers can effectively multiply their flight range and operational time. We are excited to be working with GTL to offer superior alternative power sources and accelerate the adoption of zero-emission hydrogen across the aviation industry.”

GTL specialises in developing advanced composite prototypes and technologies for aerospace, and has won numerous development contracts with NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Air Force, and others. GTL incorporates many polymer-composite manufacturing processes, including filament winding, hand layup, and fiber placement to produce composite components.

“Based on our internal analysis of a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Q300, which seats 50 to 56 passengers, the standard PW123B engine would typically support a range of 1,558 kilometers. By implementing HyPoint’s system and a standard liquid hydrogen tank, the same aircraft could achieve five hours of flight time or a max range of 2,640 kilometers. With GTL’s tank, it could fly for 8.5 hours or a max range of 4,488 kilometers, indicating that this aircraft could fly three times further with zero emissions by using HyPoint and GTL compared with conventional aviation fuel,” said Sergei Shubenkov, Co-founder and Head of R&D at HyPoint. “That is the difference between this plane going from New York to Chicago with high carbon emissions versus New York to San Francisco with zero carbon emissions.”

“Similar to the carbon fiber that is used in racing bikes, our carbon-composite technology adds strength and durability while significantly reducing weight. With BHL Cryotanks, larger aircraft such as jumbo jets will be able to utilise hydrogen fuel for cross-country flights at least a decade earlier than expected. Similarly, eVTOL and drone makers can significantly extend their range and/or flight time, opening new markets and opportunities,” said Paul Gloyer, President and CEO at GTL. “HyPoint is pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology and we are excited to be working toward a shared vision for zero-emission hydrogen aviation.”

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