Swiss startup Destinus is developing a hydrogen-powered passenger jet that can reduce travel time from Europe to Australia to about 4 hours, compared to the current 20-hour flight.
Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created speed stimulators printed with 5D printing technology that can raise speeds to <> times the speed of sound and reduce the intense heat that occurs when planes fly at such speed.
The company has tested its Egger prototype over the past two years and announced successful test flights at the end of 2022. The Spanish Ministry of Science chose Destinos to participate in a strategic initiative and gave it money to conduct further research and development in a supersonic flight using hydrogen fuel.
All Spanish companies, technology centers and universities are working on the project, which costs 12 million euros. Destinos is working with Spanish engine company ITP Aero to build a hydrogen engine testing facility.
Destinus tested its prototype over a two-year period and announced successful test flights by the end of 2022 (Destinus website)
The Spanish government grant will fund the construction of a test facility near Madrid, where air-breathing hydrogen engines will be placed in their steps, as well as the second grant project worth 15 million euros, which will pay for research into how objects are transported using liquid hydrogen.
Hydrogen energy is the subject of much research and development because of its adoption as green energy, where the main by-products of hydrogen combustion are heat and water.
Future commercial airlines flying at this speed could cover the distance between London and New York in about 90 minutes.
Destinus says its technology will make a flight from Frankfurt to Sydney take just 4 hours and 15 minutes, and the flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai will take two hours and 45 minutes, 8 hours less than the current flight.
The project is part of Spain's efforts to be at the forefront of the development and manufacture of hydrogen-based vehicles for transport in various fields.
David Bonetti, Vice President of Business and Product Development at Destinos, said: "We are delighted to receive these grants, especially as they are a clear sign that our company is in line with the strategic lines of Spain and Europe to promote hydrogen vehicles."
"For big tech companies like us, access to investment money from the EU is essential to conducting cutting-edge research and accelerating the innovation required to compete globally. With these grants, hydrogen-based solutions for air traffic will be a step closer to becoming a reality."
While accelerating hydrogen-only engine technology, Destinus will soon test a jet engine that uses post-hydrogen combustion waste.
The Spanish government is investing heavily in the development of hydrogen propulsion as part of its economic resilience and transformation plan through strategic projects funded by the European Commission's Next Generation Funds.