The French start-up Blue Spirit Aero plans to fly a four-seater plane working with hydrogen And intended for flight schools.
The ambition of this start-up created in 2020 and located between the Paris region and Toulouse is to obtain certification in 2026 of its Dragonfly, a device intended to train future pilots. The target market is niche, but with a fleet of flying club planes at the end of their life and the 600,000 commercial pilots to be trained in the next 20 years worldwide, the commercial opportunities are very real, estimates the founder of Blue Spirit Aero, Olivier Savin.
The Dragonfly has six electric motors on each wing, twelve in total, each powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. This propulsion distributed over 12 motors guarantees the robustness of the device, capable of flying with eight of its motors broken down. And thanks to its energy density, hydrogen allows a range three times greater than with electric batteries.
The recharging time for the 15 kg of hydrogen carried by plane is reduced to the time required to fill the tanks, i.e. a few minutes. “ Zero-emission, long-distance flight is achievable by rethinking the current approach to propulsion (i.e. combustion engines). Blue Spirit Aero is convinced that hydrogen combined with fuel cells is the best solution for its market segment: long distance, fast recharge time, zero emissions and low noise signature », underlines the start-up.
Blue Spirit Aero has demonstrated the viability of the different technological bricks, which now remain to be integrated and tested in flight in a demonstration Dragonfly. For its founder Olivier Savin, the Dragonfly constitutes a “first step towards the introduction of hydrogen aircraft by Airbus or Boeing“. Once the Dragonfly project is finalized, the French start-up has the ambition to develop regional aircraft with six seats, then 14 seats.