The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is providing EUR 45.2 million (USD 49.15m) by 2025 to finance the purchase, conversion, and use of a regional aircraft as a flying hydrogen testbed.
The funding is allocated to the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) as part of the aviation research programme LuFo Klima of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) through which the German government supports the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.
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The first flight tests are planned to take place next year after the aircraft conversion is completed. Industry and research partners, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups that do not have their own facilities for flight tests will be able to use the flying test laboratory. This will enable the testing of propulsion, fuel, and system technologies under real flight conditions to significantly accelerate their development.
Anna Christmann, the Federal Government's Coordinator for Aviation and Space, said, "In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality in aviation by 2045, technology development needs to gain momentum on a broad front. With the new flying hydrogen test laboratory and its open-source approach, we are taking a new path together with DLR and the industry. We want to collaborate with as many partners as possible to test technologies at an early stage of development during flight."
The LuFo Klima aviation research programme was established in 2022 to support companies in the German aviation industry and research institutions in the development of climate-neutral technologies. The financing to be provided to DLR is part of the UpLift H2 Aviation initiative within LuFo Klima, which is focused on the early practical testing of hydrogen technologies in flight and ground test facilities starting in 2023.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.088)