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Germany’s BALIS 2.0 Project to develop and test 350 kW fuel cell system for commercial aircraft

The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) announced the launch of the BALIS 2.0 Project. Led by H2FLY and supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Diehl Aerospace, the project aims to develop and to test a high-performance fuel cell system with an output of 350 kW designed for commercial aircraft applications.

The 350 kW fuel cell system serves as a basic module to develop hydrogen-electric powertrain systems in the MW-class range, which could power regional aircraft with 40 - 80 seats in the future, emission-free.

H2FLY is responsible for the development and setup of the fuel cell system. In the BALIS test field, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) studies the coupling behavior of fuel cell systems in the megawatt-class range with an electric drive and performs studies to optimize the overall system operation. Diehl Aerospace will continue to develop its high-performance and highly reliable platform technology to enable efficient coupling and scaling of fuel cell systems.

From 2024 to 2026, the BALIS 2.0 project will receive €9.3 million in funding from the BMDV. Funding for this initiative is also provided as part of the German Recovery and Resilience Plan (DARP) via the European Recovery and Resilience Facilities (ARF) in the NextGenerationEU program.

The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ). From the initial project proposal to the completion, PtJ supports all project partners ensuring that the program objectives are successfully achieved.

DLR’s BALIS test field in Empfingen, Germany was built as part of the previous BALIS project and will go into operation in 2024. Initial ground tests of the 350 kW fuel cell system are planned for 2025.

H2FLY was founded by five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm. H2FLY was acquired in 2021 by Joby Aviation, a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service.



I have not been able to track down anything definitive, but I assume that this is a low temperature conventional PEM fuel cell, not an HT one such as Zero Avia are developing.

Interesting that they reckon they can fly an 80-100 seat aircraft even using LT PEM

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