Beyond Aero makes first French hydrogen powered flight

Beyond Aero's Bleriot tech demonstrator on its first flight. Photo: Beyond Aero
Beyond Aero's Bleriot tech demonstrator on its first flight. Photo: Beyond Aero

+VIDEO A French startup called Beyond Aero has successfully flown a hydrogen-electric proof-of-concept aircraft.

The flight, flown by test pilot Paul Prudent, was aboard the company’s tech demonstrator which it calls ‘Blériot’, after the French aviation pioneer. It’s based on a French kitplane, the G1, which bears a strong resemblance to a Zenith CH 701.

The propulsion system is 100% hydrogen-electric, driving a single propeller. The powertrain is a hybrid though: two-thirds of its power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell, with the remaining third supplied by batteries.

The flight tests took place at Gap-Tallard airfield, close to the French Alps. The Blériot completed ten takeoffs, including two complete flights, reaching an altitude of 2,300ft above sea level and a climb speed of 110km/h, said Beyond Aero.

The Blériot prototype operates on 1.2kg of gaseous hydrogen stored in three tanks at 340 bar, generating a maximum electrical power of 85kW.

Beyond Aero's 'ONE' business aircraft

Beyond Aero’s ‘ONE’ business aircraft

Beyond Aero’s longer term aim is to build an electric business aircraft powered with hydrogen propulsion enabling six passengers to fly up to 800nm, five times further than currently possible with a battery-powered aircraft.

It is redesigning the architecture of an already certified aircraft around the hydrogen-electric propulsion, working on fuel cells and batteries hybrid, hydrogen tanks integration and cooling system.

Beyond Aero says it has Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the first two years of production of the business aircraft as well as investor interest with over $24 million raised to date.

Eloa Guillotin, co-founder and CEO, said, “An idea is nothing until a team, bold enough, makes it happen. It’s a big milestone for the company but only the beginning for the New Aero industry.

“We’ve continued France’s pioneering legacy in aerospace and mixed it with the modern American mindset to define the next chapter with action. Aviation will be electric, let’s make it happen together!”

Beyond Aero


Leave a Reply


We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.