And Universal Hydrogen is joining the race this week. The company has scheduled a test flight of its Dash 8-300, a regional jet with more than 40 seats.

The main goal is to test a propulsion system that will use hydrogen fuel cells that turn hydrogen and oxygen into water vapor, generating electricity to power the plane.

The plane will fly with hydrogen fuel cells powering one side and a traditional jet engine on the other. This is standard practice for testing new systems in flight, says Universal Hydrogen CEO and co-founder Paul Yaromenko.

Even if the test flight is successful, there’s still a long way to go before cargo or passengers climb aboard the hydrogen-powered aircraft. That’s because there’s a lot of infrastructure around airplanes, and a widespread transition to hydrogen-powered flights may require a lot of rethinking.

Take, for example, a gas station. Commercial airports today have a developed network for refueling aircraft. Jet fuel is usually delivered by truck or pipeline to a central fuel system. Trucks can then pick it up and bring it to the plane while it’s at the gate.

This whole system may not work so well for hydrogen, Jaromenko says. The pipelines that transport hydrogen are prone to leaks, and keeping hydrogen in liquid form requires cooling it to cryogenic temperatures, which often means that there are large losses when moving it from one container to another.

The solution, as Jaromenko sees it, is very similar to one of my prized possessions: a Nespresso coffee machine. Universal Hydrogen plans to build and use capsules filled with hydrogen fuel that can be loaded and unloaded from airplanes, eliminating the need to transport hydrogen between different containers.

These capsules will not be used in this week’s test flight as the focus is on making sure the aircraft’s propulsion system is working properly. The Dash 8-300 that will fly will operate with hydrogen tanks filled before flight, but future test flights will use the capsule system to test how it works in the air, Jaromenko says.

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