Stuttgart to become hydrogen aviation hub

Stuttgart Airport plans to become a major hub for hydrogen aviation through a new partnership with aviation specialist H2FLY.

The two organisations plan to develop and build a Center for Excellence in Hydrogen Aviation, designed to support hydrogen electric plane testing for passenger flights.

H2FLY is a company that specialises in the development of hydrogen electric aviation technology, hoping to be one of the first to deliver a qualified propulsion system to market. 

The new centre will be developed and constructed as a joint project between both parties and will be supported by the government of Baden-Württemberg using funding from its Ministry of Transport.

The aim is to provide a centrally located aviation facility where businesses and scientific institutes alike can perform development and testing of hydrogen electric propulsion with the goal of delivering zero emission passenger planes someday. 

Commenting on the development, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann said: “We’ve been following our own hydrogen roadmap in Baden-Württemberg for two years. With hydrogen set to play a crucial role in tomorrow’s transport and logistics sector, one of our aims is to establish ourselves as a leading region in the transformation of aviation.”

“To achieve this, we need concrete actions – such as the new Center of Excellence for Hydrogen in Aviation at Stuttgart Airport which is being co-financed by the government of Baden-Württemberg to the tune of EUR5.5 million. Aircraft such as those being developed here point the way to the future of emission-free flight. This project will enable our region to become not just a center of R&D for hydrogen aircraft, but eventually also a manufacturing center, and demonstrate how we are countering climate change with a spirit of innovation.”

Stuttgart will eventually consist of a dedicated hangar with testing stands, workshops, plus an integration area for hydrogen electric plane conversions or installations. The joint project is also planning an outdoor area for demonstrations.

H2FLY states the testing infrastructure will require mega-watt scale components and subsystems as well as close collaboration with the airport, commercial companies, and scientific institutes.

H2FLY expects hydrogen electric planes to be able to transport 40 passengers distances of up to 2,000 kilometres. 

The Hydrogen Aviation Center is expected to open in late 2024.