KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has joined forces with the AeroDelft student team to work on Project Phoenix, an initiative involving the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft, KLF has announced in a statement.
The development and testing of such an aircraft will present important findings on how this fuel may be applied in aviation, including the design of liquid hydrogen tanks and critical safety features.
The Project Phoenix initiative includes the creation of a drone, the Phoenix-Prototype, which will serve as a precursor to the development of the first manned liquid hydrogen-electric aircraft, the Phoenix Full-Scale, KLF noted in the statement.
The AeroDelft team has built the chassis for the Phoenix Full-Scale aircraft and is testing the hydrogen systems inside it, KLF informed, adding it aims to fly its manned aircraft in 2024, using hydrogen gas, followed by liquid hydrogen in 2025.
Mr. Barry ter Voert, CXO & EVP of Business Development at KLM, noted:
“KLM wants to play a leading role in aviation innovation and is looking for opportunities to accelerate developments. The minds and solutions of the younger generation are essential to enable us to think outside the box. AeroDelft’s enthusiasm and hard work are particularly helpful in this regard.”
Mr Wouter van der Linden, Team Leader of AeroDelft, noted:
“We are so pleased to be working with KLM on the future of aviation. It is very rewarding for us to have the support of such a major industry player. Together we will work hard to implement new, innovative technologies and train the engineers of the future.”