Destiny receives Spanish grant for R&D on supersonic hydrogen aircraft

Swiss start-up Destiny has been selected by the Spanish Ministry of Science for a strategic initiative. As part of this effort, Destiny is receiving a grant for the development and research of a hydrogen-based supersonic aircraft.

Destiny has been working on hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft for years. The aircraft must be able to fly at supersonic speeds. A flight from Europe to Australia must be completed within four hours.

Suitable for regular airports

The plane the start-up is building is powered entirely by hydrogen. It is suitable for both passenger and cargo aircraft. The aircraft should be suitable for regular airports, which should facilitate warm-up. In addition, Destiny promises low noise production, which will reduce the nuisance experienced by those living near airports.

Destiny wants to fly its aircraft above 30 km altitude. They reach speeds of Mach 5. Due to the high altitude, the aircraft can ‘float’ in the last part of the flight. As a result, the fuel moves forward without needing it.

Silent round spiral

The start-up, among other things, points to the environmental friendliness of hydrogen as a fuel. For example, hydrogen comes from water, where electrolysis separates hydrogen and oxygen. When hydrogen is burned, the main byproducts are heat and water. Destiny also points out that hydrogen’s production costs are falling rapidly, making the fuel increasingly attractive.

The Swiss start-up has been selected by the Spanish Ministry of Science to participate in a strategic initiative. The initiative is part of the ministry’s Plan de Tecnologias Aeronauticas (PTA).

A grant of 15 million euros

As part of this initiative, Destiny is funding both development and research. In total, the start-up will receive 15 million euros in grants. For example, the ministry is making money available to develop a test facility for wind-powered hydrogen engines in the Madrid area. Destiny is involved in the design and development of this space.

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The ministry also provides grants for research into liquid hydrogen-based propulsion. Key to this is the testing of innovative drives for future supersonic aircraft.

Test machine

Destiny wants to use the money to test what it calls the ‘H2 post-combuster jet engine’. It wants to further explore its hydrogen-based propulsion technology. “We are pleased that these grants have been awarded, especially as a clear indication that Destiny is aligned with the strategic directions of Spain and Europe to advance hydrogen aviation,” said David Bonetti, Destiny’s VP of Business Development and Products.

“For deep-tech companies like ours, access to these EU recovery funds is essential to conduct cutting-edge research and accelerate the innovation needed to remain globally competitive. With these grants, hydrogen-based aviation solutions are one step closer to becoming a reality.”

Author: Wouter Hoeffnagel
Image: Rony Michaud via Pixabe

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