GKN Aerospace’s Hydrogen-Powered Drone – RotorDrone

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GKN Aerospace’s Hydrogen-Powered Drone


GKN Aerospace has efficiently achieved a significant milestone delivering a ground-based demonstrator of a liquid hydrogen plane gas system. The demonstrator was designed, constructed and examined in collaboration with Filton Techniques Engineering, underneath the Innovate UK-funded Protected Flight undertaking. The purpose of the undertaking was to analyze the feasibility of utilizing a liquid hydrogen gas supply to extend the endurance of a search and rescue uncrewed aerial system (UAS) idea.

The undertaking enabled GKN to grasp and deal with most of the security issues raised by the introduction of such a novel gas. Built-in gas tank design and distribution options have been developed, together with vaporization and conditioning of the liquid hydrogen. The efficiency of the gas system was verified by coupling it with a proton change membrane (PEM) gas cell stack, consultant of the sort that could possibly be put in on a future zero emission plane. The undertaking demonstrated profitable storage and administration of liquid hydrogen, supplying the gas cell energy system with hydrogen on the required temperature and stress over a variety {of electrical} hundreds typical of a UAS search and rescue mission.

Key outcomes of the undertaking embody improvement of secure system design, manufacturing data, operational data for liquid hydrogen gas techniques, hydrogen gas system take a look at information, and an adaptable take a look at rig suited to additional examine of hydrogen elements and subsystems.

Max Brown VP Know-how GKN Aerospace stated: ’’We’re delighted with the end result of this undertaking and consider we’re very a lot on the forefront of exploring the challenges on this space. In a single finish – finish take a look at setting the group have demonstrated fueling and storage of liquid hydrogen, conditioning and distribution of cryogenic gasoline, and the usage of PEM gas cells to generate electrical energy.”  Brown continued ”while the main focus of this work was on a small scale platform, the achievement is very aligned with different work we’re conducting in applications comparable to H2GEAR, the place we’re delivering propulsion applied sciences centered on enabling zero emissions flight.’’

The Protected Flight undertaking has positioned GKN Aerospace for bigger and extra complicated demonstrations of hydrogen-powered plane sooner or later, as the corporate continues to pursue its mission to turn out to be “probably the most trusted and sustainable associate within the sky.”





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