Airports Hamburg Airport prepares for hydrogen aircraft operations

Several institutions at Hamburg will work together to develop new maintenance processes and ground infrastructure for handling liquid hydrogen at Hamburg Airport.

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Germany is one of the leading countries in bringing hydrogen solutions to the market. Now, the Hanseatic City of Hamburg has given its green light to fund a new project, that seeks to exploit aircraft maintenance processes and needed ground infrastructure for hydrogen aircraft operations.

Over the next two years, the German Aerospace Center DLR, the Center for Applied Aeronautical Research ZAL, Hamburg Airport and Lufthansa Technik will design and test these solutions for hydrogen technologies.

To have the best possible results, the solution will be tested with an Airbus A320 provided by Lufthansa Technik. The aircraft will be converted into a stationary laboratory at LHT´s base at Hamburg Airport.

Main target of the project is it, to jointly develop a pioneering demonstrator, which should be operational from 2022. In the first phase, the most urgent fields of development will be identified. Then, a concept will be set up for practical testing, which will begin in 2022. DLR will develop a virtual environment in parallel to the A320 to simulate different scenarios. ZAL will bring its expertise in fuel cell technologies and digital process mapping into the project, while Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the operational and maintenance-wise needs aircraft need.

Johannes Bussmann, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik AG, said: "With this project, we want to tackle this enormous technological challenge at an early stage – for the entire Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry as well as for us. In this way, we are actively securing the future, because we are building up expertise today for the maintenance and ground processes of the day after tomorrow."

Michael Eggenschwiler, Chief Executive Officer of Hamburg Airport, added: At the airport, we also rely on hydrogen as the technology of the future for our ground transport. This project offers us the chance to identify and make the best possible use of synergy effects between gaseous hydrogen, such as that used for refuelling our baggage tractors, and liquid hydrogen for aircraft refuelling."

Yesterday, we reported on Deutsche Aircraft and H2FLY joining forces to develop new aircraft solution for the regional market, using hydrogen technologies. The development shows, that many companies in this country are committed to develop new and different approaches in order to illustrate the aviation of the future.

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