Aviation H2, the company building Australia’s first hydrogen-fuelled aeroplane, has opened to investors via the online trading platform VCEX. Its team of engineers is seeking to raise initial capital of $300,000 to fund the project’s planning study for the development of the green energy jet engine plane.
The engineers at Aviation H2 are currently comparing design approaches based on reliability, environmental impact, efficiency, and weight. Once their initial testing is complete in March 2022, the team will present their recommendation on the most commercially viable model to begin constructing a prototype.
The lead engineer and company director, Dr Helmut Mayer, believes they will have their first plane in the sky in the next 18 months.
“Taking inspiration from my colleagues, it is time to start on the road to decarbonising aviation, and there is nothing that cannot be done with a relevant dose of thought and attention,” said Dr Helmut Mayer.
“On this note, we have commenced our journey by evaluating all of the existing technologies available to us and taking a close look at the uncertainties and what risks and opportunities these present. This will give us sound information for making decisions into the next phase of the project”.
An engineering-first approach offers a pathway to success
Over the coming months, Dr Mayer will run trials on two state-of-the-art solutions for converting a traditional aircraft into a renewable model. The company is testing a hydrogen fuel cell electric motor and modifying a direct combustion engine.
Prior to the advancement of hydrogen technology, there had been no other option for decarbonising the aviation industry as batteries proved too large for air travel.
Aviation H2 believes this creates an opportunity for Australia to become a global leader in this space as it is yet to be commercialised. The company plans on capitalising on this industry, which is projected to reach US$174.02 billion by 2040. Australian innovators pioneering the industry is what will create an internationally competitive sector within the country.
It is 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.