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Mon, Nov 20, 2023

UpNext's Blue Condor Makes Hydrogen-Powered Flight a Reality

Proof-of-Concept Testing Begins on Promising Sustainable Fuel Engine

The Blue Condor team has finally begun flight testing using its experimental hydrogen fuel engine, taking their powered glider up to 30,000 feet for the first time ever.

The effort dovetails into a plethora of projects, programs, and initiatives both in their partner Airbus' portfolio, but EU governments, too. The ZEROe project has a vested interest in studying the resulting hydrogen contrails left behind Blue Condor, while Aero Design Works eagerly awaits flight test data for their one-off custom hydrogen engine. The aircraft is operated by The Perlan Project, a group who've built a name for themselves in a hyperspecific niche of high-altitude, zero-emission aviation. While the flight test hasn't gotten quite so high yet, the team intends to take Blue Condor right up to 30,000 feet in short order.

Blue Condor will begin studying the hydrogen contrails stateside, flying out of Nevada during the winter. That should allow improved condensation and vapor coherence at altitude, making collection and 'sniffing' just a bit easier than it would be in the warm and blustery summertime. 

FMI: www.airbus.com

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