Netherlands’ Cluster Targets Role On Future Hydrogen Airliners.

Dutch HAPPS project will covert 40-seat regional turboprop to hydrogen-electric propulsion by 2028. Credit: Unied International

Aviation Week –

Graham Warwick June 22, 2022

A Netherlandsʼ aerospace cluster plans to develop a hydrogen-electric propulsion system for retrot to 40-80-seat regional turboprops as a path to securing a position on future Airbus and Embraer sustainable aircra programs.

The Dutch government has backed the plan to develop the liquid-hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. The consortium aims to have a retrotted aircra ready to y between the Netherlands and London in 2028, commemorating KLMʼs rst commercial ight which was from London to Amsterdam in 1920.

Led by consultancy Unied International and regional economic development agency InnovationQuarter, the Hydrogen Aircra Powertrain and Storage Systems (HAPSS) program is a public-private partnership involving 17 companies, Del Technical University (TU Del) and Royal Dutch Aerospace Center NLR. It will be based at Technology Park in The Hague.

HAPSS is being supported by €100 million ($104 million) in government funding from the €383 million allocated in April from the National Growth Fund to the Aviation in Transition (LIT) program, matched by funding from the consortium. The LIT program is investing in sustainable aviation and is a consortium led by the Netherlands Aerospace Foundation.

Beyond enabling zero-emission air travel, a goal of the HAPSS program is to rebuild the Dutch commercial aircra industry. The Netherlands last produced complete airliners in 1997, aer Fokker led for bankruptcy. “A completely Dutch ag ies above this project, so this contributes directly and one-to-one to the Dutch GDP,” said Michel Van Ierland, Unied International managing partner.

HAPSS will develop a 2-megawatt liquid-hydrogen propulsion solution for regional aircra with ranges of up to 750 km (405 nm). The system is planned to be running in an iron-bird ground rig in 2025. The system is being designed initially for retrot into existing turboprops such as the De Havilland Canada Dash 8 but is planned to be scalable for eventual use in larger zero-emission aircra.

Led by consultancy Unied International and regional economic development agency InnovationQuarter, the Hydrogen Aircra Powertrain and Storage Systems (HAPSS) program is a public-private partnership involving 17 companies, Del Technical University (TU Del) and Royal Dutch Aerospace Center NLR. It will be based at Technology Park in The Hague.

HAPSS is being supported by €100 million ($104 million) in government funding from the €383 million allocated in April from the National Growth Fund to the Aviation in Transition (LIT) program, matched by funding from the consortium. The LIT program is investing in sustainable aviation and is a consortium led by the Netherlands Aerospace Foundation.

“Our aim is, rst, how can we accelerate decarbonization? And thatʼs done by retrot of a turboprop aircra. We will also apply later on to become a new Tier 1 partner on a system level within, for example, the Airbus or Embraer supply chain,” van lerland told Aviation Week. The Dash 8 was selected as the rst target aer a detailed technical and market analysis, he added.

The consortium plans to establish a new entity to manage the program and hold the supplemental type certicate for the conversion. Aircra integration and certication will be performed by TU Del, NLR, Unied and ADSE. The thermal management system will be developed by TU Del, NLR, Unied, ADSE and Zepp Solutions, which is also supplying the fuel cell modules.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from the original.