In a groundbreaking endeavor supported by the UK government, the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) is spearheading the development of a revolutionary aircraft named FlyZero, designed to circumnavigate the globe without the need for refueling. The key to its extraordinary range lies in a clever solution: the utilization of liquid hydrogen as its power source.

FlyZero’s impressive capabilities stem from its innovative design, featuring four tanks tailored for storing liquid hydrogen at an extreme temperature of 250°C (418°F). Two of the larger tanks are positioned at the rear, akin to a rear-biased all-wheel-drive car, while two smaller tanks are situated at the front of the aircraft.

With a substantial wingspan of 54 meters—nearly twice the size of a Boeing 737—and accommodating 279 seats, FlyZero is a sizable and ambitious project. However, its ambitious nature comes with a significant price tag, and the endeavor is currently operating with limited funding. Despite the ATI securing approximately $2.6 billion in total funding, only a modest portion has been allocated to the FlyZero program, amounting to around $20 million thus far—an amount considered nominal in the realm of aircraft development.

While the project lacks a specific deadline, the overarching goal is to have the hydrogen-powered FlyZero ready for deployment by the next decade. This timeframe aligns with the plans of major aerospace companies, including Airbus, set to introduce its own hydrogen-powered airliner to the market in 2035.

As FlyZero progresses in its development, it stands as a testament to the potential of hydrogen-powered aviation and signifies a pivotal step toward sustainable air travel. The collaboration between government support and technological innovation in the FlyZero project exemplifies the commitment to revolutionizing the future of air transportation.

By Impact Lab