Friedrichshafen, Germany. Gérard Thevenot’s hydrogen-powered ultralight aircraft is one of a kind. Its electric motor is powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell, without the onboard presence of an accumulator or battery. In fact, the only in-flight emission it produces is pure water vapor. For this groundbreaking achievement, the French hang-gliding pioneer and builder is to be honored with this year’s E-Flight Award at the AERO 2010 International Exhibition for General Aviation.
Thevenot presented his hydrogen-only aircraft to the world for the first time at AERO 2009. "Weighing less than 130 kilograms including the pilot, our hydrogen-fueled aircraft is extremely light,” explains the French inventor. "This allows it to fly powered only by the fuel cell and without the assistance of an auxiliary battery.” The single-seat ultralight trike is equipped with a 7 kW hydrogen-powered motor and weighs only 55 kg, including a full five-liter tank of hydrogen. The 35 kg airfoil has a surface of just under 14 sq m and a span of 12 m. Average fuel consumption at 100 m above sea level is 550 g per flight hour. The five-liter tank is sufficient for approximately one hour of flight, during which the aircraft’s only emission is pure water vapor.
This is not the first of Thevenot’s fuel cell projects to cause an international sensation. In 2006, he won the Shell Eco Marathon with a hydrogen-powered automobile, which he designed in collaboration with the École supérieure des sciences et technologies de l’ingénieur de Nancy (ESSTIN). With a hydrogen supply corresponding to one liter of gasoline, Thevenot set the world-record distance of 4,117 km, which in terms of gasoline fuel consumption equates to 0.02343 liters per 100 km.
With the ‘E’ standing for ‘Electrical, Ecological and Evolutionary,’ the E-Flight Expo is being held for the second consecutive year as part of AERO, and will present the latest alternative aviation drive concepts of 2010. The E-Flight Award will be presented on Sunday, April 11 at 1 PM at the E-Flight Forum in Hall B4.
For further information, visit www.e-flight-expo.com and www.aero-expo.com
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