June 6th 2023, Hydroplane Cal Test Bed Awardee



Hydroplane Selected for CalTestBed Program Funded by California Energy Commission

LOS ANGELES (June 6, 2023) – Sustainable aviation hydrogen powerplant developer Hydroplane has been awarded a prestigious CalTestBed voucher from the California Energy Commission to conduct testing and accelerate commercialization of its revolutionary new electric propulsion system. Hydroplane is one of only 18 companies chosen for the latest cohort of the CalTestBed Initiative.

The award will permit Hydroplane to conduct ground-based commercialization studies at the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFRC) at the University of California at Irvine. The team will assess performance of the fuel cell powerplant in conditions that simulate the flight environment – for example, changes in altitude and temperature.

“We are honored to receive this award as it will allow us to accelerate commercialization of our novel Hydroplane hydrogen fuel cell powerplant to decarbonize aviation and heavy-duty transport,” said Dr. Anita Sengupta, CEO and Founder of Hydroplane. “Through testing in partnership with the NFRC, we will evaluate how the flight environment affects the powerplant and define the durability and reliability needed to certify hydrogen fuel cell
technology for aircraft.”

Funded by the California Energy Commission and managed by New Energy Nexus, the CalTestBed Initiative assists California-based clean energy entrepreneurs in gaining access to more than 60 world-class testing facilities at nine University of California campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab with the aim to de-risk and accelerate the commercialization of their innovations. Since its inception in 2020, CalTestBed has awarded a total value exceeding $8.3 million to 39 recipients across its first and second cohorts.

“California is a leader in clean energy innovation, and we are excited to support fellow leaders such as Hydroplane, a company on the forefront of reducing carbon burning fuel dependence,” said Rachel Yu, Senior Program Manager at New Energy Nexus’ CalTestBed. “We look forward to partnering with Hydroplane to test and prove the commercial viability of their ground-breaking engine, bringing it one step closer to the commercial marketplace as a clean energy alternative.”

Hydroplane is developing a modular 200-kW (270 hp) hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for the general aviation, regional transportation, and urban air mobility markets. The company’s novel electric propulsion powerplant, funded by the U.S. Air Force’s prestigious Agility Prime Program and led by space program veterans, will replace combustion-piston driven engines in currently certified, experimental, and future aircraft.

 Hydroplane’s novel powerplant is specifically designed for single engine aviation as it is lightweight, has a compact form factor, is highly durable, and emits only water. The powerplant also provides a significant increase in endurance over battery-powered alternatives. Hydroplane is on track to fly its demonstrator aircraft in 2023.

For more information on Hydroplane, visit www.hydroplane.us.

About Hydroplane

Founded by former NASA engineer Dr. Anita Sengupta, Hydroplane Ltd. is minority woman-owned small business focused on eliminating aviation carbon emissions. Sengupta’s team of space program-trained engineers are developing a modular hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for a range of aircraft and mobile energy storage applications. Hydroplane is a winner of two U.S. Air Force Agility Prime contracts to develop the novel technology for a range of government and commercial aviation uses.


Michael Tonetti

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