Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Mobile Application in Aviation

  • Andreas WestenbergerEmail author


Using hydrogen as a fuel for the propulsion of large commercial passenger aircraft has the advantage that it contains about three times the energy content per weight compared to kerosene hydrogen. On the other hand the volume of hydrogen, even at cryogenic liquid state, is about four times the volume of kerosene. Additional tank weight for the storage of the cryogenic hydrogen partially balances the weight advantage again. Other applications in conjunction with fuel cell technology as energy converters achieve higher efficiencies compared to the today’s conventional technologies. Such configurations are currently applied as components for the propulsion of smaller electrically powered aircraft and electrical onboard generators at experimental level. In the case of using this technology as an onboard power generator on large commercial aircraft, it is possible to also use byproducts such as heat of reaction, process water and the low-oxygen exhaust air.


Fuel Cell Electric Motor Internal Combustion Engine Main Engine Commercial Aircraft 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Alternating current


Air Transport Association


Auxiliary power unit


Auto transformer rectifier unit


Auto transformer unit


Certification specification


U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


Direct current


Environmental control system


Engine driven pump


Electro-hydraulic actuator


Electromechanical actuator


Engine-driven pump


Joint Aviation Authorities


Joint aviation requirements


Not specified (in German: keine Angabe)


Membrane electrolyte assemble




Oxygen depleted air


Polymer electrolyte membrane or proton exchange membrane


Power transfer unit


Ram air turbine


Wing anti-ice


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Airbus Operations GmbHHamburgGermany

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