The trial, conducted at Brisbane Airport (BNE), signifies a critical stage in Australian cleantech specialist Stralis’ preparations for its inaugural test flight, which is slated for later in 2024.
The company's innovative approach involves utilising a Bonanza A36-HE as a test platform, paving the way for the retrofit of a 15-seat Beech 1900D aircraft intended for the first passenger flights between Brisbane Airport and Gladstone Airport in 2026, operated by launch customer Skytrans.
Brisbane and Gladstone are at the forefront of green hydrogen development, making them ideal launch points for Australia's first hydrogen electric aircraft route. Flights will generate zero carbon emissions, with their only byproduct being water vapour.
“This successful test marks an unparalleled achievement, not just for Stralis but for the entire Australian aviation sector. Running an electric motor with a power to weight above 10kW/kg on an aircraft is a crucial milestone that propels us closer to witnessing this test aircraft take to the skies safely later this year,” said Bob Criner, co-founder and chief executive officer of Stralis.
Queensland's commitment to the tests stems from its role in the hydrogen industry.
“This test represents a significant leap towards cleaner, more cost-effective, and quieter aviation. Providing emissions-free access to regional Queensland is an exciting prospect, aligning with Brisbane Airport's commitment to sustainability,” said Ryan Both, executive general manager of aviation at Brisbane Airport.
Stralis’ work at Brisbane Airport is supported by the Hydrogen Flight Alliance and Aviation Australia.