First successful flight for Universal Hydrogen’s aircraft

hydrogen aircraft

On March 2, the U.S. start up flew an ATR 75 retrofitted aircraft with hydrogen. This is an important step for the company, which has requests to convert nearly 250 aircraft worldwide.

Named Lightning McCLean, this 40-seat retrofitted ATR 72* flew for 15 minutes from Grant County Airport (Washington State), USA. Universal Hydrogen had a special permit from the FAA, the US regulatory authority. This flight was the first of a two-year campaign.

On board the aircraft, in merely 12 months, the start-up replaced the engines with an electric motor and a fuel cell from Plugpower. And it was Alex Kroll, an aviation whiz, who took the yoke. This former US Air Force test pilot is the one leading the developments for Universal Hydrogen. It is worth noting that this flight comes after successful ground tests at the company’s engineering center in Toulouse.

Universal Hydrogen, which has the support of prestigious companies such as GE Aviation, Airbus Ventures, Toyota Ventures, JetBlue Ventures and American Airlines, has received 247 requests from 16 customers worldwide to convert ATR 72 aircraft to hydrogen.

*A regional transport aircraft designed by the Franco-Italian company ATR, in service since 1989

Do you want to learn more about Universal Hydrogen and its aircraft? Then our latest articles about the company should interest you. You can access all our articles written about Universal Hydrogen here.

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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King

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About the author

Marina Leite

Marina Leite

As a Brazilian passionate about languages, human rights and environmental issues, I hold a Bachelor's degree in Applied Foreign Languages with a major in International Economic Development. Drawing on my experience as a content creator on social networks, I joined Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022, first as an intern, then as Marketing & Communications Manager and designer.

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