To enable a technologically and economically feasible H2-powered aviation, new integral LH2 tank solutions are required that could serve as part of the airframe main structure and capable of withstanding its respective loads.
The H2ELIOS project will develop an innovative and effective lightweight LH2 storage system for aircraft. It will be implemented as demonstrators in two fuselage-like cylinder section with approximately 1.9 m of external diameter and approximately 2.3 m of external length. These demonstrators would be duly supported by component and subsystem ground tests at appropriate scale at project completion (TRL 5 at storage level). The aim is that the concept is ready to be embedded and integrated in a specified aircraft architecture for flight demonstration in later stages.
H2ELIOS will provide a feasible and novel low-pressure double-layer composite tank-based system, enabling the tank shape to be either conformal or non-conformal to the profile of the aircraft. Its general effectiveness will be assessed in terms of high GI performance and easiness of integration within the aircraft structure.
This concept will be supported by latest evolutions of innovative methods and technologies in terms of multidisciplinary design development, manufacturing processes and means of compliance and shall be demonstrated in operational conditions: first on ground up to TRL5 and then in flight by the end of Clean Aviation Phase 2 clearing a TRL6 maturation gate. Finally, delivery to the market is expected in the 2030-2035 period. In this way this project shall contribute to accomplish the objectives of the European Green Deal regarding decarbonization of the aviation industry.
The activities of H2ELIOS will be supported by explicit agreed support of EASA and an External Advisory Board comprising commercial aircraft OEMs, H2 management and cryogenics experts, MRO services, airlines, aircraft system integrators, materials developers and suppliers and airports operation.