- Stabilising the ammonia burn
- Adjusting fuel-air ratios and the burn itself to reduce NOx emissions
- Accommodating engine characteristics to suit the difference in density of the fuel-air mixtures
- Pressurising the fuel tanks so that the ammonia remains fluid throughout the flight.
One of the most important elements will be ensuring the approach involves the state-of-the-art conversion of an existing aircraft into a hydrogen-fuelled engine with the majority of the base certification retained.
One of the most critical features of our work is to ensure we use existing, and certified, technology as much as possible. We will start with an existing aircraft and retain as much of the base certification as possible. Making use of existing technologies and infrastructure will also be important to offer our customers as much as possible of what they are already familiar with and what they have already invested in.
Once initial testing is completed in early March, we will present our recommendations to the board and to potential investors. After this, the project’s second phase will begin – building Australia’s first hydrogen-powered plane – which will take us through to the experimental flight of an aircraft.
I look forward to sharing our next update in the coming weeks.
This blog series provides an in-depth insight into Project Darter Bird and takes you on the journey of building Australia’s first hydrogen-powered plane. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to receive these updates.
About Dr Helmut Mayer
Helmut is an experienced pilot, engineering designer, systems architect and C-level executive. He has been the Principal Engineer and Project Director on numerous machine design projects in Australia, South Africa, India and Colombia.
With a PhD in design science, and a wealth of experience in designing a variety of high-value technologies, focusing on the management of design teams for performance and accuracy, he will be well placed to keep the design teams focused and productive.
He has built several businesses, including Mayer International Design Engineers and Mayer International Machines, from small design-only activities to delivering large complex multi-million mobile machines for global customers.