The National Aviation Conference, held on September 25, 2023, at the Lufthansa Technik facility in Hamburg, brought together high-ranking political figures and leading players in the aviation industry. The event’s title, “Aviation: Sustainable and Innovative,” was not only the credo of the speakers on stage. In a companion exhibition, current technical solutions from selected manufacturers could be examined. ZAL GmbH presented a hydrogen-converted delivery drone from Wingcopter.
Drones demonstrate what is possible in the field of hydrogen. (Quote from Olaf Scholz, NLK, 25.9.23)
One focus of the conference was on sustainable fuels such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and hydrogen. Another focus was on drones and unmanned aerial vehicles discussed within the context of Advanced Air Mobility. They play an important role in advancing the technology with their insights into hydrogen. Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized the significant economic perspective of this sector:
“In Advanced Mobility, we see such progress in hydrogen propulsion. Drones can help us in everyday life, such as delivering medicines to our doorstep or packages. We are certainly curious about the technological possibilities that will open up.”
Sustainable aviation projects presented
ZAL GmbH presented a contribution relevant to the discussion with the exhibited Wingcopter. The joint development project with Wingcopter GmbH was showcased as an exhibit. The drone of the same name, which already delivers medicines successfully in Malawi, is currently being converted to hydrogen at ZAL. This conversion not only enables sustainable operation but will also double the range to reach remote regions even better. During their tours, both Anna Christmann, Coordinator of the German Federal Government for Aerospace, and Robert Habeck visited ZAL GmbH’s booth and were able to firsthand information about the project and its goals.
The National Aviation Conference 2023 made it clear the potential but also the complex challenges of climate-neutral aviation. This underscores the need for ongoing research, especially in the field of hydrogen. Reason enough for the Wingcopter exhibited just a day earlier to be back in ZAL TechCenter’s hydrogen laboratory, continuing the work.
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More about our research projects in the field of hydrogen and our collaboration with Wingcopter can be found here: