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Aviation First: Fuel-Cell Powered Flight

April 8th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 3,531 views.
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Fuel Cell FlightFor the first time, an aircraft has flown powered by nothing other than fuel cells. Granted, this little Boeing bugger needed a boost from its batteries to get into the air, but once airborne it flew for about 20 miles using fuel cells alone. Its not a bad idea, considering the only exhaust is water, but unfortunately Boeing does not see this type of technology entering mainstream commercial use any time soon.

In the grand scheme of aviation firsts, I’d rank this as a so-so accomplishment. After all, human-powered aircraft hit the scene almost 30 years ago with the Gossamer Albatross which was ultimately flown over the English Channel. No doubt, requiring nothing more than a couple gallons of water and the 1970′s equivalent of Power Bars. Here are some pics of it in flight.

Still, it would be wrong to detract from the direction Boeing’s taking with this. After all, I doubt the Wright Brothers could have conceived of the 747 during their maiden flight.

Source, Photo: Aviation


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