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New Moses Lake Venture will Test Hydrogen-Powered Aviation on Turboprops

The idea and the hype of zero-emissions, Hydrogen-powered aviation will take a launch from Moses Lake in Central Washington.An ambitious new initiative there seeks to adapt small regional turboprop aircraft to fly on fuel, test and certify them to transport people, and perhaps give a long-term answer to aviation’s carbon emissions by showing that  aviation is commercially feasible.

Universal Hydrogen, located in Los Angeles, is researching technology to adapt mid-sized turboprop aircraft to operate on. It is managed by Paul Eremenko, a former chief technology officer and leading clean energy visionary at both Airbus and United Technologies.AeroTEC of Seattle, electric motor manufacturer MagniX of Everett, and New York-based Plug Power, which operates a  fuel cell plant in Spokane, has joined forces with Universal Hydrogen.

Our aim is to put butts in seats on commercial, revenue-generating flights as soon as possible,” Eremenko said in an interview, adding that he expects to get FAA certification in 2025.The De Havilland Canada DHC-8 turboprop, sometimes known as the Dash 8, is the first to be retrofitted.The aircraft that will be converted is not the bigger type that is operated locally by Alaska Airlines, but rather a smaller one that seats around 50 passengers.

The business intends to remove 10 seats to fit the huge capsules filled with Hydrogen that will serve as the plane’s fuel, lowering the plane’s capacity to about 40 people.Later in the project, the ATR 72 turboprop will be modified in the same way, with seating decreased to around 58 people after conversion. The technology that must be created is complicated and will need creativity.

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