Partnership for electric flight
Stuttgart Airport promotes the airplane of the future

Ulm University

The dream of quiet, emission-free flight is likely to become a reality in the near future. Stuttgart Airport GmbH (FSG) is providing a quarter of a million euros to promote "Electric Flight", a joint research project that Ulm University is running in cooperation with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). A symbolic check was presented on Monday, 5 November, by FSG Spokesperson Walter Schoefer, along with Baden-Württemberg Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Stuttgart Airport Supervisory Board Winfried Hermann. Prof Josef Kallo, head of Electric Drive Development at Ulm University, was present to receive the check.

"What was long considered impossible will soon become reality for small-sized aircrafts: climate-friendly, electric flight with hydrogen fuel cell propulsion. Prof Dr Kallo's research project is leading fundamental pioneer work for this new reality", Minister Hermann remarked. Following the successful take-off of the world's first four-seat electric aircraft HY4 from Stuttgart Airport in September 2016, it is important that Baden-Württemberg continues to pursue this topic of such relevance for the future. The state airport has been the home of the prototypes developed during the last ten years.

Airport Managing Director Walter Schoefer emphasised the shared notion of sustainability: "Aviation requires environmentally friendly solutions. In keeping with the spirit of our Fairport strategy, we aim to do our part in seeing the technology of the HY4 brought to market maturity". As Fairport STR, the airport aims to become and remain one of the highest performing and most sustainable airports in Europe. Most recently, FSG supported the development of environmentally friendly and low-volume propulsion with a donation in the amount of 180,000 euros to DLR, enabling the HY4 maiden flight.

Researchers envision the aircrafts initially being used as electric air taxis in regional transportation, mainly due to the low noise pollution. "We have been successful in increasing the performance of the HY4 since the test flight in Stuttgart in 2016 and will now look more closely into the intermodal connection with regional air traffic", explains Prof Josef Kallo. The newest model of the fuel cell-powered passenger aircraft will take off from Stuttgart Airport in 2019.

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Text and media contact: Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH, corporate communication

The check was presented at Stuttgart Airport on Monday, 5 November. The photo shows (Photo: Stuttgart Airport): from left Prof Dr-Ing Josef Kallo (Head of the Institute of Energy Conversion and Storage at Ulm University), Winfried Hermann (Baden-Württemberg Minister of Transport), Walter Schoefer (Managing Director of Stuttgart Airport)
World premiere of fuel cell aircraft HY4 at Stuttgart Airport in September 2016 (Photo: Stuttgart Airport)