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HydrogenOne says Cranfield working on hydrogen-powered drones

a dronamics drone on a runway

HydrogenOne Capital Growth says that its portfolio company Cranfield Aerospace Solutions has announced a new route to market for its hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) propulsion system, with Dronamics, the world’s first cargo drone airline.

Cranfield Aerospace and Dronamics have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further progress the application of the Cranfield Aerospace’s HFC propulsion system to the Dronamics Black Swan cargo drone aircraft. This agreement confirms the position of Cranfield Aerospace as the preferred supplier of HFC propulsion systems to Dronamics and includes a letter of intent for the supply of a substantial number of propulsion systems from 2026.

The two companies have been working together since November 2022 on a joint feasibility study for the application of Cranfield Aerospace’s HFC technology into Dronamics’ flagship Black Swan cargo drone aircraft, which is capable of carrying 350kg of freight for up to 2,500km. These studies have concluded that the Cranfield Aerospace HFC system is well suited to meet the required payload, cargo volume and range for the Black Swan aircraft.

HydrogenOne says that the addition of Dronamics as a HFC platform, alongside the on-going programme to convert the 9-seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft to HFC propulsion, validates the company’s strategy of backing the leading innovators in hydrogen technologies.

As at 30 June 2023, HydrogenOne’s investment in Cranfield Aerospace represented 8% of its NAV.

[QD comment (James Carthew): This feels to me like an exciting opportunity for Cranfield. I wonder whether this could turn out to be a much bigger potential market for Cranfield’s technology than passenger aircraft.]

HGEN : HydrogenOne says Cranfield working on hydrogen-powered drones

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