The Anonymous Widower

Universal Hydrogen Successfully Completes First Flight Of Hydrogen Regional Airliner

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Central.

These two paragraphs outline the story.

Universal Hydrogen successfully completes first flight of hydrogen regional airliner.

Universal Hydrogen Co., this morning flew a 40-passenger regional airliner using hydrogen fuel cell propulsion. The airplane, nicknamed Lightning McClean, took off at 8:41am PST from Grant County International Airport (KMWH) and flew for 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 MSL. The flight, conducted under an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate, was the first in a two-year flight test campaign expected to culminate in 2025 with entry into passenger service of ATR 72 regional aircraft converted to run on hydrogen.

Other details from the article include.

  • Connect Airlines are the North American launch customer, who have ordered 75 aircraft conversions.
  • Amelia are the European launch customer.
  • Universal Hydrogen has an order book, totaling 247 aircraft conversions from 16 customers worldwide.
  • For the test flight, only one engine was replaced by a hydrogen fuel cell powered electric motor.
  • Deliveries will start in 2025.

The article finishes with two paragraphs about Universal Hydrogen.

Universal Hydrogen is building a hydrogen logistics network to fuel the future of aviation, today. Hydrogen is the ideal fuel for flight and will power aviation’s new golden age, where planes are powered by renewables and emit nothing but water. The company’s modular hydrogen capsules move over the existing freight network from production directly to the airplane anywhere in the world.

Universal Hydrogen is also working to certify a powertrain conversion kit to retrofit existing regional aircraft to fly on hydrogen. The company has gathered the world’s leading aviation and hydrogen talent to give the industry the option of clean flight, forever.

The company also has an unusual web site.

  • This page describes the product.
  • This page gives details of their dogs.

I like the company and its design, operating and marketing philosophies.


March 4, 2023 - Posted by | Design, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. Interesting that the powertrain doesn’t have a battery straight fuel cell to motor. Not much room for luggage though and of course the wings are a great place to store jet fuel and i can’t see hydrogen cylinders fitting in the wings but who knows.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 5, 2023 | Reply

  2. Perhaps they have a responsive fuel cell, that provides power according to how much hydrogen you put in.

    I think the Rolls-Royce 2.5 MW generator could do the same job, as the fuel cells.

    But people are putting their money down for conversion.

    It all looks very promising!

    Comment by AnonW | March 5, 2023 | Reply

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