World's first 4-seater fuel-cell plane takes off in Germany

World's first 4-seater fuel-cell plane takes off in Germany
The world's first four-seater plane HY4 that uses emission-free hybrid fuel-cells to fly is pictured at the airport in Stuttgart, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. A 10-minute test flight Thursday at the airport in southwestern Germany involved two pilots and two dummy passengers. (Christoph Schmidt/dpa via AP)

Aircraft engineers in Germany have successfully tested the world's first four-seater plane that uses emission-free hybrid fuel cells to fly.

The 10-minute test flight Thursday at Stuttgart Airport in southwestern Germany involved two pilots and two dummy passengers.

The twin-cabin plane, known as HY4, was developed by aircraft maker Pipistrel, specialist Hydrogenics, the University of Ulm and the German Aerospace Center DLR.

It uses hydrogen to generate electricity in-flight, giving it a cruising speed of 165 kilometers per hour (102.5 mph) and a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), while relying on batteries for take-off and landing.

Boeing and Airbus have also tested smaller fuel cell planes in recent years as the aircraft industry searches for ways to reduce emissions.

World's first 4-seater fuel-cell plane takes off in Germany
The world's first four-seater plane HY4 that uses emission-free hybrid fuel-cells to fly is pictured at the airport in Stuttgart, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. A 10-minute test flight Thursday at the airport in southwestern Germany involved two pilots and two dummy passengers. (Christoph Schmidt/dpa via AP)

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Citation: World's first 4-seater fuel-cell plane takes off in Germany (2016, September 29) retrieved 28 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-world-seater-fuel-cell-plane-germany.html
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