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China develops four-seat hydrogen combustion aircraft

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : A Chinese four-seat hydrogen internal combustion aircraft prototype completed its maiden flight on Monday in Shenyang, northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

The aircraft, when at a flight altitude of 200 meters, has sufficient power and an acceptable level of vibration while producing good performance, according to Xu Xiaoben, who served as the test pilot.

The aircraft is 8.2 meters in length and is capable of high-pressure gas hydrogen storage of up to 4.5 kilograms. Its cruising speed is 180 kilometers per hour.

In addition, the maximum thermal efficiency of the aircraft’s hydrogen internal combustion engine is in excess of 43 percent.

With increasing attention to clean energy and stricter control of carbon emissions in the aviation industry, aircraft using hydrogen fuel will be more favored in the future, according to Sun Xiaoping, chief technologist of Liaoning General Aviation Academy.

The validation model of the aircraft completed a test flight in Shenyang on March 25, 2023. The validation model was equipped with a zero emission supercharged direct injection hydrogen combustion engine of 80 kilowatts, developed by the FAW Group Co., Ltd.

This is the first independently-developed general aviation aircraft in China to be powered by a hydrogen internal combustion engine.