Hyundai and Rolls-Royce will work on the development of hydrogen fuel cell aircraft

Hyundai Motor Group and Rolls-Royce Holding (the aviation department) will work together to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems. Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding a few hours ago, something that has been confirmed by the respective management leadership.

According to Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group, this agreement is understood as an important opportunity for progress in the aviation sector, something that for them is key when it comes to support the true objective of the aviation industrywhich is none other than being able to fly with net carbon emissions by 2050 thanks to the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells.

Hyundai entered the aeronautical sector months ago with the first studies of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) units together with the Regional Air Mobility and Supernal platform. For the specific case of short-haul aircraft, the Korean firm will make use of battery electrification, while the hydrogen fuel cell that it will begin to develop together with Rolls-Royce will be reserved for longer-distance flights.

The joint work will be aimed at Rolls-Royce increasing its participation in “zero emissions” technology, which has already been projected for some years and, in fact, they already have a record for the fastest electric vehicle, although their sights they are mainly aimed at high-capacity commercial aircraft.

They hope that this joint collaboration will lead to a working model for the year 2025, which will have the purpose of demonstrating the high capacities of these propulsion systems for their consequent arrival on the market a few years later. Hyundai presented its eVTOL aircraft project months ago based on the concept called Supernal (the model that can be seen in the images that illustrate this article), which hopes to put the first functional vehicle on the market by the end of this decade.

Hyundai showed its Supernal project
Hyundai showed its project called Supernal.

From Hyundai Motor Group they are completely delighted with this movement between companies, since it will mean an important advance in the development of these aerial vehicles and zero emission of harmful gases. From the directive of the Korean firm they mention this sector as “the true future of large-scale mobility”.

in both companies they see hydrogen as a fuel source that offers all the benefits that electric propulsion already has. These benefits focus on the net emission of toxic gases, on the high autonomy and also, they place special emphasis on the almost total disappearance of noise generated by current aircraft equipped with thermal mechanics.

With the union between Rolls-Royce and Hyundai, they hope to be able to bring hydrogen fuel cells, storage systems and the infrastructure necessary for their operation to the aerospace market, and investigate the many possibilities that these advanced sustainable mobility systems will have.

Both Hyundai with Supernal, and Rolls-Royce with its roadmap to achieve net zero carbon emissions, are looking for new opportunities within the aeronautical mobility sector, something with which they should begin to show their capabilities from the middle of this same decade.

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