We are executing our mission by designing, manufacturing and finally flying both a 1:3 scale prototype and a full-scale aircraft powered, both by hydrogen. Phoenix is the world’s first liquid hydrogen fuel cell aircraft where we remove the emissions altogether by powering our aircraft with the lightest of all elements: hydrogen.
Although Project Phoenix starts as a world’s first, we firmly believe that the aviation industry needs to follow our example and we aim to inspire the bigger companies.
A number of solutions to the sustainable aviation problem have been advocated in the past. Broadly speaking, these solutions fit into three categories: kerosene equivalents, batteries and hydrogen. Biofuels and synthetic kerosene, although a potential temporary solution to the aviation industry’s carbon emissions, are not sustainable in the long-term. The impact on air quality as a result of NOx emissions by combusting kerosene or kerosene equivalents is up to 4.4 times higher than the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment.
Batteries are not suited for aviation on their own due to their weight. However, battery and hydrogen technologies are closely linked since both make use of the same electric engines. Hydrogen in gaseous and liquid state as well as contained in carrier fluids is seen by many to be the long-term solution. A single wind turbine would be able to provide the power for a commercial aircraft. Fuel cell technology has the potential to change not only aviation but transportation in general, leading to a sustainable, future hydrogen economy.
Although our aircraft are small, our ambition is not. For example, we are working internationally to develop certification guidelines for hydrogen propulsion. We firmly believe that our work will impact and inspire the future of the aviation industry.
Prototype Phoenix is a 1:3 scale of the E-genius airplane, with a maximum take off weight of 50 kg and a wingspan of 5.7m. In Summer 2022, the Phoenix Prototype took its first flight at NLR Marknesse on batteries. Click here to watch its maiden flight. In 2023, this prototype will fly on gaseous hydrogen before advancing to liquid hydrogen!
The 1:3 scale prototype is powered by a 1500W fuel cell coupled with a battery pack for take-off power and safety. Hydrogen is kept in a cryogenic tank at -253°C and warmed to 0°C using a complex tubing system.
Powered by an electric motor on its tail, Phoenix is able to fly for 7h with just 1kg of liquid hydrogen, covering a distance of more than 500km. These endurance and range values are unmatched by batteries and conventional fuels.
Full-Scale Phoenix is a 2-seater Sling 4 aircraft, with a maximum take-off weight of 920 kg and a wingspan of 10m. In July 2021, we received our Sling 4 kit which will enable us to start working on integrating all the systems to be able to fly our first Full-Scale flight. Since then, the full scale has successfully taxied at Breda airport. This aircraft will fly on gaseous hydrogen in 2024 and liquid hydrogen in 2025.