New Aviation Fuel?
● Liquid hydrogen is now being seriously considered as an alternative to petroleum fuels for aviation. A spokesman for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation told an international symposium on the subject at Stuttgart, Federal Republic of Germany, that such fuel would be the “biggest step in aircraft efficiency” possible. He also said that liquid hydrogen “promises an advance even more important than when we moved from piston to jet engines.”
● According to the report in Britain’s New Scientist magazine, “liquid hydrogen produced by the cheapest method—using Canadian hydroelectric power to electrolyse water—is already competitive with petroleum-based fuels and will become significantly less expensive as oil production declines in the 1990s.” Airline representatives at the symposium were so impressed that a proposed “demonstration phase” using hydrogen to fuel cargo aircraft may not be necessary. An optimistic estimate of 1985 for the flight of a hydrogen-powered airliner was even discussed.