Why Britten-Norman is betting on hydrogen

Britten-Norman firmly intends to be “at the forefront of the electric aircraft revolution”, according to its long-serving chief executive William Hynett.

Hynett believes that hydrogen-based technology is the “game-changer” that will allow commercial aviation to achieve its zero-carbon goal.

That became clear last year, as the partners behind Project Fresson began to scope out the potential of hydrogen fuel cells rather than using batteries. “It started to make sense,” says Hynett. “It takes away the need for charging. It takes away weight.

Such is his confidence in Project Fresson’s progress that Hynett believes a hydrogen-powered aircraft could be Britten-Norman’s “core offering” by the end of the decade. “We are very comfortable that we could sell a hydrogen-powered aircraft in our market,” he says.

That market comprises mostly tiny airlines and public sector-run entities – there are some 230 operators of the nine-seat Islander around the world – serving remote communities from North America’s Great Lakes to the Falkland Islands, and from the Scottish isles to Pacific archipelagos.

Hynett believes a compact and simply engineered type like the Islander is “perfect” to pioneer tomorrow’s green technologies such as hydrogen power. “Opportunities for-longer range aircraft will happen through the work we do in short-range,” he says.

Read the full article here on FlightGlobal, published 5th July 2021 by Murdo Morrison…