back to article Boeing, Ford in hydrogen engine fanfare

World-straddling arms'n'airliners behemoth Boeing yesterday announced successful testing of a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft engine which will power the company's future High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) robo-plane. The Boeing release made an unexpectedly loud splash, with the new motor being described as a "wunderengine" and the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    it conveniently forgets to mention that most of the damage to the atmosphere due to aircraft engines is not the carbon output but the water vapour. Burn hydrogen its all you get. A very nice red herring.

  2. Alan Donaly
    Thumb Down

    This isn't very interesting

    You must do better this is not very interesting

  3. Stuart Gray


    "It has a bit of special tech sauce, too: rather than coupling its propeller mechanically to the car engine, like Orion, it seems to use a generator and electrically-spun props."

    So it loses 70% of the stored energy in the fuel converting it to electricity, and 70% of the electrical energy converting it to kinetic energy? Very fuel efficient... I guess that the generator is a backup to solar cells, but even so, they are carting a lot of mass in the fuel, generator and motor for a 10% (theoretical maximum) conversion rate.


  4. adrian sietsma


    " - indeed, BMW has a demonstrator car that can run on hydrogen now (though its fuel does all boil away in a matter of days, potentially causing the garage to explode if you've rashly parked it inside)."

    I (and the lizard army) would like to see that.


  5. Anonymous Coward


    They were meant to be the future of air travel and used Hydrogen....

    Oh the humanity.

  6. Anton Ivanov

    A few words on slow props...

    Slow? Prop? WTF are you smoking pass that along please:

    As a matter of fact without any significant modifications to its 50 years old design this bird can still compete with today aeroplanes in terms of fuel efficiency. It is actually faster than most of the todays commercial airliner fleet as well (925km/h vs 850-875km/h).

    It has just one major problem - noise. This is not surprising considering that it uses a 60 year old propeller design which was never optimised for noise levels. If someone takes some of the modern designs like the ones used on the ATR and adapts them accordingly it should be possible to overcome this hurdle.

    The only problem is that the airline industry is hell-bent on delivering "improved" clones of 707 and any original thinking has been carefully eliminated from the ranks of engineers and designers.

  7. daniel
    IT Angle

    @Stuart Gray

    What not efficient having an internal combustion engine power a genny powering an electric motor? Railway diesel-electric locomotives have been doing this for years!

  8. Jason

    Carbon free electric

    "Even in the case of nice hydrogen made out of water using electrolysis, you need a carbon-free source of electricity."

    You could just use the water to turn some turbines before converting it?

  9. Fluffykins Silver badge

    You might like to read

    Nevil Shute's autobiography "Slide Rule".

    He was a mathematician on the R100 project.

    If I recall the book correctly (it -was- a very long time ago I read it), the R100 was a sister ship to the R101. One was built as a project run by the state, the other was a private run project.

    Guess which was quicker, lighter, less overrun and didn't catch fire?

  10. W


    "The Boeing release made an unexpectedly loud splash..."

    ...just as the Airbus A380 superjumbo [from it's major competitor] completes its first commercial flight, touching down at Sydney Airport.

  11. John Stag


    Boeing announces "the future of air travel" on the same day as the first flight of the A380...

  12. Jon Tocker

    cynical bastards

    W and John Stag

    Why would Boeing want to make itself look good just because reportedly happy people are disembarking from a competitor's ultra-modern airliner? Boeing is all sweetness 'n' light, doncherknow?


    Good on ya, guys.

    A380 touches down and Boeing is leaping up and down yelling "It's All About Meeeeeee!" by trotting out what is effectively old tech with a slightly newer (but still old) spin and not (at the moment) particularly feasable due to problems with the production of hydrogen - and touting it as the Future of Aviation(tm).


    Boeing needs all the military support it can get because it's in grave danger of losing the commercial sector.

  13. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @ Jon Tocker

    Actually, Boeing have taken back control of the commercial sector in the last 2 years. Airbus pre-2005 (post 2001) were the largest seller of commerical aircraft, now Boeing are back in front, especially thanks to the 787 (700+ orders already!)...

    But true this is just a publicity stunt to try and take some of the linelight away from Airbus...

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I doubt that

    I seriously doubt that Boeing is in any danger of "losing the commercial sector". Boeing like Airbus have their ups and downs, but the market has to know that having two competitors levels the playing field.

    It's in everyone's interest that both companies stay afloat, just to be able to play one against the other.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021