Test Flight of Hydrogen-Powered Drone Certified in Japan

The successful test flight of the first certified hydrogen drone in Japan was enabled by H3 Dynamic’s AEROSTAK hydrogen fuel cell system By Phoebe Grinter / 07 Dec 2021

A hydrogen drone equipped with H3 Dynamics‘ AEROSTAK hydrogen fuel cell system, has successfully completed the first certified hydrogen fuel cell multirotor drone test flight in Japan.

The hydrogen drone was developed by Drone Works with integration support by Nexty Electronics Co. Ltd. and received official approval from the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (MITI) on November 28, 2021.

The new generation hydrogen drone is equipped with a small composite container for high-pressure hydrogen developed by JFE Container Co. Ltd. The special drone-compatible hydrogen fuel cell system is manufactured by H3 Dynamics, who has begun working with Toyota Group member, Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics for technical integration in Japan.

Setting up its offices in Tokyo, H3 Dynamics is a global company with locations in Singapore, Paris, Toulouse and Austin that works on decarbonization of flight from small drones to large aircraft. The company has recently closed a $26M series B financing, led by Mirai Creation Fund, managed by SPARX Group and representing the interests of Toyota Corporation and Sumitomo Banking Corporation (SMBC). The specialist fund specializes in investments relating to intelligent technologies, robotics, and hydrogen technologies.

By using lightweight hydrogen as the energy source of the drone, it is possible to fly for a much longer time than with lithium batteries. In addition hydrogen offers a stronger environmental solution to support decarbonization especially as hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy or municipal waste.

Leveraging hydrogen energy further contributes to solving social issues in line with the government’s goal of “realizing carbon neutrality by 2050”. The partner companies believe that the success of this demonstration in Japan opens the way towards wider adoption of hydrogen in air mobility applications.

Nexty Electronics will continue to strengthen its collaboration with H3 Dynamics in the Japanese market. H3 Dynamics has been developing aerial mobility fuel cell systems for the past 15 years, launching hydrogen-powered unmanned aerial vehicle solutions including several air cargo platforms including fixed-wing, VTOL and hydrogen refueling accessories to support zero emission air mobility around the world.

Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact