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PHOTO CAPTION: Rapid 200 two-place aircraft similar to that converted to fuel cell power.

Fuel Cell Light Aircraft Prepares for Flight Tests

The aircraft has an entirely electric 40 kW propeller: power is supplied to the propeller through 20 kW hydrogen gas fuel cells.

Published: 12-Jan-2010

Winchester, UK - The first Italian and European Commission funded aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell is ready for take-off.

The Rapid 200-FC "zero emission" aircraft completed its first high speed taxiing tests last month and the next step for the European team, coordinated by Professor Giulio Romeo of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, will involve obtaining the flight permit from the aeronautical authorities and then conducting the first test flight.

The aircraft has an entirely electric 40 kW propeller: power is supplied to the propeller through 20 kW hydrogen gas fuel cells. In order to guarantee absolute safety of the operations, the aeroplane also has a second source of energy that consists of a set of 20 kW lithium polymer batteries which are able to guarantee alternative or supplementary power during take-off and initial climbing.

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