ABOVE: The technology demonstrator completed 10 take-offs and two complete flights

Beyond Aero has completed the initial flight test campaign of its hydrogen-electric powertrain architecture, signifying the first time a manned French aircraft has flown on fully hydrogen-electric propulsion.

Beyond Aero’s powertrain operates on 1.2kg of gaseous hydrogen stored in three tanks at 340 bar pressure, providing two thirds of the power, with the remaining portion supplied by batteries. A maximum electrical power of 85 kW drives a single propellor. For the purposes of the flight test, the system was retrofitted to a G1 Aviation SPY-XL, with the resulting experimental aircraft dubbed the ‘Blériot’ in honour of the pioneering French aviator.

The company – which intends to build the first hybrid-electric clean-sheet business jet within the decade– states that ‘this successful flight test campaign underscores the feasibility of the manufacturer’s powertrain architecture,’ with the Blériot flight test campaign having validated its technology.

“When Blériot landed, it was at this moment that I fully realized that Beyond Aero had just achieved a major milestone in its development. Seeing this single-engine aircraft make its first flight with nominal parameters underlines the achievement of years of dedicated effort to get our hydrogen-electric vision off the ground,” said Dr Matthieu Pettes-Duler, Head of Powertrain at Beyond Aero.