Boeing has successfully flown the worlds first fuel-cell-powered aircraft and it took its time announcing it. The Diamond Dimona motorglider has flown three times since February out of an airfield at Ocana, south of Madrid. The aircraft took off on a combination of battery power and the fuel cell but used the fuel cell alone to cruise at 3,300 feet and about 55 knots for 20 minutes. Boeing is actively working to develop new technologies for environmentally progressive aerospace products,” said Francisco Escarti, Boeing Research & Technology Europe (BR&TE) managing director. “We are proud of our pioneering work during the past five years on the Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane project. It is a tangible example of how we are exploring future leaps in environmental performance.” According to Boeing, fuel cells make sense for small manned and unmanned aircraft but theyre not likely to be used for airliners. But theyre also not ruling anything out. The company will continue to investigate their potential, as well as other sustainable alternative fuel and energy sources that improve environmental performance, Boeing said in a news release.
AVweb video coverage of the announcement