Aviation H2 has engaged a team of internationally respected engineers to fast-track its ambitions of building Australia’s first hydrogen-fuelled aeroplane. This forms part of the company’s plan to capitalise on the rapidly growing demand for technology that will decarbonise the aviation industry.
The agreement will see principal engineers, Dr Helmut Mayer and Christof Mayer, lead Aviation H2’s development of an emissions-free aircraft. The brothers bring with them a combined 60 years’ experience in large-scale machine design for industrial purposes.
Their appointment marks a significant step towards creating an internationally competitive industry in Australia, which will see the country become a global leader in hydrogen-powered aviation.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with the pair, who have a proven track record of creating one of Australia’s most innovative engineering firms,” said an Aviation H2 spokesperson.
“Their expertise, from design to implementation, will prove critical to seeing Australia’s first hydrogen-powered plane in the sky and play a pivotal role in meeting the global demand for decarbonising the aviation industry.”
Dr Mayer believes a carbon-free aircraft can be in the air in the next 18 months by modifying existing aeroplanes to be powered by hydrogen-based technologies — technologies that are already transforming the vehicle industry.
“Working with Liberty Energy Capital to develop hydrogen-based propulsion for aircraft is a very exciting opportunity,” said Dr Mayer. “We plan to execute on ideas we’ve been talking about for years. Our approach will be to demonstrate existing technology step-by-step and then to make an aircraft fly on carbon-free fuel”.
Currently, the Mayer brothers have three hydrogen-based solutions for converting a traditional aircraft into a renewable model. A series of tests will now be conducted to identify which state-of-the-art technology is best suited for powering an aeroplane and is scalable for commercial purposes.
“The time has come to be serious about production, management and use of carbon-free fuels,” explained Christof Mayer. “A step-by-step approach using existing technologies as much as possible is required to progress the effort toward commercial application. Aviation H2 will be an unprecedented tool for achieving these outcomes.”
It’s expected that the successful application of this technology will see quick uptake by major players in the industry, as repurposing existing planes means the infrastructure for a carbon-free aircraft is already at hand.
New Aviation H2 member
Captain Gregory Paul Keogh has been elected as a new board member of Aviation H2, bringing over 30 years’ airline experience, including seven years as Training Examiner on the B777 aircraft for Emirates Airlines. He has also held aviation managerial and chief pilot roles, giving him expertise in aviation compliance issues in Australia and internationally. Captain Keogh flew for Ansett Airlines in the 90’s before joining overseas airlines and becoming a Training Examiner, which he continues to do today.
“Regulators around the globe will be watching our flights closely. Using aircraft that are already certified, will ensure a cohesive and professional working relationship with aviation regulators, allowing all concerned to collaborate effectively on this exciting journey,” said Captain Keogh.
Fuel of the future
A company spokesman said hydrogen in the aviation industry could be used across commercial airlines, the defence forces, the cargo industry and freight services.
“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. It is viewed as one of the most viable options for decarbonising the transport industry, which accounts for over one-fifth of global CO2 emissions. As net-zero becomes the universal standard among western governments, hydrogen is estimated to grow into a global market worth US$201 billion by 2025,” he said.
“As the West continues to minimise carbon pollution, we are providing a solution for a sector that makes up 2% of global emissions. Aviation H2 has been founded on a shared vision to harness the power of renewable energy to take the aviation sector into industry 5.0.” the spokesman.