Japan Airlines & H2Fly research hydrogen-electric aviation

H2Fly is honoured to collaborate with Japan Airlines in securing a sustainable future for the aviation industry, says Professor Josef Kallo, CEO

Established in 1951, Japan’s first private aviation company — Japan Airlines (JAL) — operates a fleet of 224 aircraft, offering an extensive domestic and international network that serves 376 airports across 64 countries/regions. As one of the most punctual airlines globally, JAL’s many accolades include being a certified 5-Star Airline by Skytrax and being awarded the prestigious "World Class" Airline title by APEX, the Airline Passenger Experience Association.

Alongside its dedication to becoming the preferred airline for its customers, JAL is also committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Partnering for a future of sustainable aviation

As part of its efforts towards sustainable aviation, JAL has committed to researching and evaluating the feasibility of hydrogen-electric aviation in Japan. 

To this end, JAL has partnered with H2FLY, the developer of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft.

Having been acquired in 2021 by Joby Aviation, a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, H2Fly is working to unlock the era of emission-free, sustainable air travel through advancing hydrogen fuel cell technology. Joby was recently recognised by EV Magazine as a top electric aviation company.

The company is a global leader in the development of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aircraft, having demonstrated both the feasibility and potential of this technology for the aviation of the future when the HY4, the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, first took off in 2016.

“At H2FLY, we have dedicated the past decade to making significant advancements in the development of our hydrogen technology for aircraft,” shares Professor Josef Kallo, CEO and co-founder of H2FLY.

Kallo was one of five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm  who founded the Germany-based sustainable aviation company, and is working to deliver to market the first qualified, fully hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain.

“We are honoured to be collaborating with Japan Airlines who are leading the way in securing a sustainable future for the aviation industry.”

Hydrogen – the future of air travel?

The agreement between JAL, H2Fly and JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC), comes two months after H2FLY completed the world’s first piloted flight of liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft. 

The research could have an incredible impact on global transport emissions — in just a few years, hydrogen-electric aircraft are expected to be able to transport 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles).

“We highly admire the outstanding technology of H2FLY,” says Ryo Tamura, President of JALEC.

JALEC is responsible for the line and heavy maintenance, development and control of maintenance plans for the aircrafts operated by JAL group airlines, such as JAL, J-AIR, Spring Japan and ZIPAIR Tokyo. 

Based on Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport, and Osaka Itami International Airport, JALEC provides high-quality maintenance service including engines and components maintenance and supporting aviation safety through extensive knowledge and advanced technical skill developed by over years of experience.

“Through this partnership, we’re moving forward to the realisation of hydrogen-powered flight in Japan. Our collaboration lets us lead and contribute to safe and sustainable aviation in Japan.”

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