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45 million for testing hydrogen in aviation
Friday, 12 May 2023

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection BMWK is funding the procurement of a regional aircraft and its conversion and use as a flying test bed with 45.2 million euros. The federal government coordinator for German aerospace, Dr. Anna Christmann, today handed over funding to the chairwoman of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla.

The funding for the years 2023 to 2025 is part of the BMWK aviation research program LuFo Klima, the central instrument with which the federal government is supporting the aviation industry on its way to CO 2 neutrality. After the procurement and conversion of a regional aircraft, the first flight tests are to take place as early as next year. The flying test lab will be open to industry and research partners - especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups that do not have the opportunity to carry out flight tests themselves. In this way, promising propulsion, fuel and system technologies for the decarbonization of aviation can be tested quickly and under real flight conditions in order to significantly accelerate their development.

Aerospace Coordinator Dr. Christmann: "In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2045 in aviation as well, technological development must now gain momentum across the board. With the new flying hydrogen test laboratory and its open-source approach, we are breaking new ground together with DLR and industry. We want to test technologies in flight with as many partners as possible at an early stage of development. At the same time, this is an invitation to other European partners to network in a similar way at an early stage for the next step – the development of a demonstrator for a medium-haul jet – and to establish collaborations.”

DLR CEO Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla: "Against the background of the Paris climate protection agreement, DLR is pursuing the goal of climate-friendly aviation. The way there also requires disruptive approaches in the development of new drives and systems, including hybrid-electric concepts based on hydrogen technologies and new fuels. Future system technologies, fuel cells, fuel systems and their integration will play an important role here. We are therefore particularly pleased to be able to set up a versatile flight test vehicle for these hydrogen technologies in climate-friendly aviation with the new flying test laboratory, which paves the way to a new generation of aircraft.

The aviation research program LuFo Klima and its focus on disruptive H 2 technologies, which has been established since 2022, is a central funding instrument of the federal government to support companies in the German aviation industry and research institutions in the development of climate-neutral technologies. The decision handed over today is part of the new H 2 funding priority UpLift H 2 Aviation (UpLift) in LuFo Klima, with which from 2023 an even stronger focus will be placed on the early practical testing of hydrogen technologies in flight and in ground test stands.

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DLR - German Aerospace Center Fuel Cells, Testing Services, Research/Consulting Services, Composite Design Consultants, Flight Simulators, Instrument Landing Systems, Prototyping, Airframer
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Electrical Power Systems