I recently came across an article in the Daily Mail UK, about the world’s first hydrogen-powered flying boat. Not so long ago I would have said they were dreaming …. But now it’s just a case of how long until we see it.
It shouldn’t surprise me that The Jet could be seen in Dubai next year, but the speed that this technology can happen and come to fruition, is great for the world’s environment.
Designed by Swiss start-up, THE JET ZeroEmission, in collaboration with UAE-based Zenith Marine Services and DWYN LLC to manufacture and operate, the Jet is ground-breaking in that it not only creates zero emissions, no noise and no wake, but it’s going to be powered by two hydrogen fuel cells that create electricity by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in specially treated plates, which combine to form a bigger fuel cell “stack.”
This is achieved as the engineers have been able to shrink fuel cell stacks and batteries significantly to the point where they could potentially be used in ordinary cars. Right now, they’re more commonly found in buses and very large vehicles. By reducing the amount of platinum used in the stacks, engineers have been able to reduce the cost of producing the fuel cells.
Although it’s not new technology, the Jet relies on hydrofoils to create the uplift needed to enable the vessel to float a meter above the water with zero wake which is no surprise, as one of the Jets inventors is Alain Thebault, world sailing speed record holder and manager/creator of the L’Hydroptère project.
This video looks at the fascinating 30-year journey to create L’Hydroptère, a French experimental sailing hydrofoil trimaran that was imagined by yachtsman Eric Tabarly and manufactured by a group of French high-tech companies.