Posted 25 августа 2021,, 14:31

Published 25 августа 2021,, 14:31

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Empty chores: are there any prospects for hydrogen fuel in Russian aviation?

Empty chores: are there any prospects for hydrogen fuel in Russian aviation?

25 августа 2021, 14:31
Despite the intensified and clearly visible lobbying for hydrogen as an aviation fuel, today there is no real chance for hydrogen aviation.

Andrey Zlobin

Some leaders of the aviation and aviation industry continue to express the opinion that hydrogen will soon find use as a fuel in winged aircraft. It is easy to show that this will definitely not happen in the next half century. Of course, I mean big aviation, not hydrogen "toys" designed for all sorts of experiments and extreme sports. For a whole century, petroleum products, kerosene, gasoline have been used in aviation as fuel, and there are many reasons why it will be so for another fifty years, if not more.

How many production airplanes and helicopters use hydrogen as fuel today? There is no such serial aircraft in the world. Point. Even all the latest developments planned for a large series are designed exclusively for kerosene or gasoline, but not for hydrogen. The history of aviation shows that successful models of aircraft and helicopters fly for 30-50 years or more. It is not uncommon for aircraft to be developed for decades, especially engines. Consequently, there can be no question that the current financial investments in the production of aircraft, helicopters and motors will be thrown to the wind. Nobody will subsequently convert the mass of serial aircraft designed and produced for half a century into hydrogen. Moreover, it is generally impossible to remake them without endangering the pilots and passengers.

A more vivid example can be cited, demonstrating the technological unavailability of introducing hydrogen as an aviation fuel. Is Russia ready to sacrifice all of its long-range aviation for the sake of hydrogen fantasies? I don't think I'm ready. In long-range aviation there is such a thing as air refueling. When refueling in the sky, two aircraft approach each other, one of which is a tanker (refueling tanker), and the second receives fuel from it through a flexible cone-hose. Even for experienced pilots, refueling is a complex and demanding operation. It is easy to imagine how complicated the process will be if, instead of kerosene, the refueling tanker has liquid hydrogen on board, and the entire refueling system becomes cryogenic. Taking into account the explosiveness of hydrogen, the process of refueling in the air turns into a kind of "lethal number", which is unlikely to be possible at all. Long-range aviation on hydrogen fuel is thus completely unviable. In this case, the so-called fuel cells using hydrogen will not save either. It is even less realistic to transfer such elements from airplane to airplane when refueling in the air.

Despite the intensified and clearly visible lobbying for hydrogen as an aviation fuel, today there is no real chance for hydrogen aviation. Aviation hydrogen fuel in the near future is a fake designed for gullible and poorly educated people. Once again, they are trying to knock domestic aviation off the right course and direct it along a dead-end path, which was successfully done in the 90s. Boeings and Airbuses, as they flew on kerosene, will continue to fly on it for a very, very long time. Russian aviators and the aviation industry on a large scale should be realistic and be guided by the same global trend, and not jump from side to side at the sound of hydrogen fairy tales. Our country should not risk long-range aviation, since the territory of the Russian state is huge, and you can only get to the most remote corners of Russia by plane. Not to mention the fact that long-range aviation plays a colossal role in ensuring the defense capability of the Russian Federation. It is categorically impossible to increase the production of hydrogen to the detriment of traditional aviation fuels.

But what about the challenges of the time, what about the constantly growing requirements for aviation technology, the perfection of aircraft engines, aircraft, helicopters, and drones? How to ensure innovation and competitiveness? With this, everything is very simple. It is necessary to properly organize science, production, pay a lot to engineers and scientists and make sure that only professionals with a fundamental aviation technical education are in the leadership of the aviation and aviation industry. So far, listening to the current aviation management bureaucracy, you understand that this is the level of Pithecanthropus, who often do not understand even elementary aviation terminology.

Andrey Zlobin, Ph.D., mathematician, in the 90s, head of the CIAM sector "Engines of unmanned aerial vehicles"