The first certified hydrogen fuel cell multi-rotor drone test flight was recently conducted in Japan following its approval from the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (MITI).
By using lightweight hydrogen as the energy source of the drone, it is possible to fly for a much longer time than with lithium batteries. In addition, In increasingly large applications, hydrogen offers a stronger environmental solution to support decarbonisation, especially as hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy or municipal waste.
Leveraging on hydrogen energy further contributes to solving social issues in line with the government's goal of "realising carbon neutrality by 2050". The partner companies believe that the success of this demonstration in Japan opens the way towards wider adoption of hydrogen in air mobility applications.
The new generation hydrogen drone is equipped with a small composite container for high-pressure hydrogen developed by JFE Container. The special drone-compatible hydrogen fuel cell system is manufactured by H3 Dynamics, who has begun working with Toyota Group member, Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics for technical integration in Japan.
Setting up its offices in Tokyo, H3 Dynamics is a global company with locations in Singapore, Paris, Toulouse and Austin that works on decarbonisation of flight from small drones to large aircraft. The company has recently closed a US$26M series B financing, led by Mirai Creation Fund, managed by SPARX Group and representing the interests of Toyota Corporation and Sumitomo Banking Corporation (SMBC). The specialist fund specialises in investments relating to intelligent technologies, robotics, and hydrogen technologies.
H3 Dynamics was recently chosen by one of the world's largest airport operators Groupe ADP in Paris to form part of the Paris air mobility ecosystem and plans to fly a first hydrogen cargo aircraft in the Paris region in the early part of 2021.
Nexty Electronics will continue to strengthen its collaboration with H3 Dynamics in the Japan market. H3 Dynamics has developed world-leading aerial mobility fuel cell systems for the past 15 years, has launched its first hydrogen powered drones, with several air cargo platforms including fixed-wing, VTOL and hydrogen refueling accessories to support zero emission air mobility around the world.