Hydrogen Aviation Center to be Built at Stuttgart Airport

  • H2FLY and Stuttgart Airport team up to found Center of Excellence for Hydrogen in Aviation at Stuttgart Airport
  • This will be a purpose-built facility for the development and testing of hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for passenger aviation
  • Planning underway for a dedicated hangar with extensive R&D infrastructure
  • By supporting this future technology, Baden-Württemberg is playing a pioneering role in zero-emission aviation

Stuttgart, January 30, 2023 – Today, H2FLY – the Stuttgart-based company specializing in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircraft – and Stuttgart Airport announced the launch of a joint project to construct the Hydrogen Aviation Center at Stuttgart Airport.

To be managed by H2FLY, the Hydrogen Aviation Center will provide a central facility where businesses and scientific institutes can develop state-of-the-art concepts in zero-emission hydrogen-electric aviation, and then test them on the ground and in the air within the airport environment.

The core of the Hydrogen Aviation Center will comprise a hangar with test stands, workshops, and an integration environment for the installation and adaptation of zero-emission aircraft propulsion systems and workstations, as well as an outdoor area where hydrogen technologies can be tested in aircraft demonstrators. This infrastructure will enable the development of megawatt-scale components and subsystems along with the integration and test operation of hydrogen-electric powertrains.

These technological developments require close collaboration between a wide range of commercial companies and scientific institutes. Interested organizations are invited to utilize facilities. Scheduled to open in late 2024, the Hydrogen Aviation Center will become the hub of these collaborations and strengthen close cooperation.

Baden-Württemberg is supporting the project with funding from its Ministry of Transport, with the state assuming a leading role in the transformation to zero-emission aviation, which is crucial to achieving climate change goals.

Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg: “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 €5.5 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.”

Dr. Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy: “I welcome today’s launch of the Center of Excellence for Hydrogen in Aviation at Stuttgart Airport. It will make an important contribution to the future of emission-free aviation. Hydrogen in aviation is also high on our agenda at the BMWK Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. We’ve been working with many of the partners here in Stuttgart for a long time. Furthermore, we’re currently working with the entire aviation industry to significantly accelerate technology development through additional measures in our LuFo Klima aviation research program. After all, we’re now laying the foundations for the future of Germany’s prominent aviation industry.”

Winfried Hermann, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Transport, declared: “Particularly in aviation, special efforts and innovations are vital if we are to achieve our ambitious climate targets. Wherever battery-electric solutions aren’t possible in the foreseeable future, we’re backing new technological developments such as H2FLY, which Stuttgart Airport intends to advance. This entails setting up manufacturing facilities for renewably generated fuels, such as hydrogen and synthetic fuels. And this in turn requires a binding, investment-friendly legal framework from the EU.”

Professor Josef Kallo, co-founder and CEO of H2FLY: „With the Hydrogen Aviation Center, H2FLY will create a focal point for the entire ecosystem of emission-free, hydrogen-electric flight. Developments and applications in the field of commercial, hydrogen-electric aviation will thus be significantly advanced and collaboration with various partners will be pooled. I am delighted that we can implement this groundbreaking, innovative project in partnership with Stuttgart Airport and with the support of the government of Baden-Württemberg.“

Walter Schoefer, CEO of Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH: “We’ve been supporting research into the use of hydrogen in aviation for many years. The Hydrogen Aviation Center at Stuttgart Airport is an important stage on the road to zero-emission flying. Aviation urgently needs new answers to climate change. The Center of Excellence for Hydrogen in Aviation combines world-class science with a pioneering spirit, and will make important contributions to the future of flying.”

Nico Buchholz, CCO Deutsche Aircraft: “The future starts now: that’s why Deutsche Aircraft is working with partners like H2FLY on disruptive technologies for regional commercial aircraft. In addition to our know-how, we are using the proven D328 as a flying laboratory for practical tests with props, also for testing hydrogen-electric engines for future aircraft generations. In addition, Deutsche Aircraft plans to take the first step towards sustainability with the D328eco – certification scheduled for Q4/2026 – using Power2Liquid jet fuel made from green hydrogen. This makes it clear: hydrogen is an important game changer in our business, both today as a resource and in the future as a possible fuel.”


About H2FLY
H2FLY was founded by five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm, and is working to deliver to market the first qualified, fully hydrogen- electric aircraft powertrain. By bringing hydrogen fuel cell technology to the next level, H2FLY will unlock the era of emission-free, sustainable air travel. The company develops hydrogen- electric propulsion systems for aircraft and is a global leader in the development and testing of such systems. The HY4, the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, first took off in 2016, demonstrating both the feasibility and potential of this technology for the aviation of the future. H2FLY has a powerful network of partners in industry and research, and is currently working to accelerate its technology development and commercialization with the support of German and European partnerships. In just a few years, hydrogen-electric aircraft are expected to be able to transport 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,240miles).

For more information, please visit: www.h2fly.de