PARIS – An EU-funded project has been launched to develop the first fuel cell manned intercity aircraft.
Led by the Polytechnic University of Turin, the Environmentally Friendly Inter City Aircraft powered by Fuel Cells (ENFICA-FC) project has an overall budget of €4.5 million, of which €2.9 million will be funded by the EU as part of the Aeronautics and Space priority of the Sixth Framework Program (FP6).
The main objective of the ENFICA-FC project, its initiators explained, is to develop and validate the use of a fuel cell based power system for the propulsion of more or all electric aircrafts. The fuel cell system will be installed in a selected aircraft which will be flight and performance tested as a proof of functionality and future applicability for inter city aircrafts.
All parties said they would first conduct a feasibility study to provide a preliminary definition of new forms of aircraft power systems that can be provided by fuel cell technologies. Their second goal consists in developing and validating an electric-motor-driven two-seat airplane powered by fuel cells.
Eleven partners are involved at this point. They share competencies in the design, development and validation of intercity aircraft together with fuel cell expertise for propulsion systems and hydrogen storage