Intelligent Energy, Boeing to Develop Fuel Cell Plane

June 12, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Intelligent Energy Ltd. (London) announced that it has been selected by Boeing Co. as a partner in the development of what they claim to be the world’s first fuel-cell-powered airplane for manned flight. The Fuel Cell Airplane Demonstrator Project will prove that fuel cell technology can provide environmental benefits and optimize fuel usage for commercial aircraft. Boeing believes that fuel cells have great potential to replace auxiliary power units for commercial passenger and freight air fleets.

The Fuel Cell Airplane Demonstrator Project is led by Boeing Phantom Works, the advanced research and development arm of Boeing which serves as a catalyst of innovation for the Boeing Group. Boeing commenced formal evaluation of alternative fuel cell propulsion systems in May of 2002 and assessed all main fuel cell producers globally. The first manned fuel cell airplane flight is planned for December 2003, the centenary celebration for the first-ever powered flight. There will be subsequent flights in North America, and at the Paris and Farnborough Air shows.