- Sep 15, 2021 1:48 pm GMT
With the search for alternative propulsion technologies heating up, could ‘green hydrogen’ represent the next oil revolution?
Within the fuselage, the fuel tank is the most complex, important structure and due to the extreme low temperature of liquid hydrogen, cryogenic tanks are the most likely option. These tanks are effectively large metallic pressure vessels and incredibly high value.
The UK is already working to establish a supply chain in order to deliver comparable vessels to the nuclear industry, a capability that has clear cross-sector transferability.
Hydrogen fuel tanks weigh more than traditional tanks and the fuselage is likely to be longer. This means that landing gear will need to be configured for heavier landing weights. Several prominent landing gear manufacturers have operations in the UK, including Safran and Messier-Dowty.
The fuselage is going to change the most, from a pure manufacturing perspective. This represents a big opportunity as UK industry isn’t that deeply involved in fuselage production currently.
Of equal, if not greater, interest is the opportunity to move into lucrative new markets by leveraging existing domestic capability. For example, we know that hydrogen is a viable means for taxiing aircraft around an airport
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