FlyH2 has just begun an experimental project, converting the locally-developed Eagle Owl RPA to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Eagle Owl fuel cell conversion project underway
AMS Eagle Owl RPA

In collaboration with local aircraft manufacturing partner, Aerial Monitoring Solution and agricultural RPA operator Greenfly Aviation, FlyH2 has embarked on an exciting experimental project to test the Eagle Owl RPA, powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The project was sparked by a need for a tougher propulsion system that is quieter and requires less refuelling and less maintenance.

…small UAV engines often need to be replaced every few hundreds of hours, fuel cell membranes operate for thousands of hours…

Whereas small UAV engines often need to be replaced every few hundreds of hours, fuel cell membranes operate for thousands of hours before requiring replacing. Our subsidiary, Greenfly Aviation, requires a rugged aircraft that can operate day and night, every day of the week, without risk of engine failure or disturbing the peace with internal combustion engines. Citrusdal’s sterile insect technique (SIT) company, XSIT is also excited by the proposition. “If we can reduce the noise, vibration and exposure to petrochemicals during flight, the quality of the released moth releases should increase substantially” says XSIT Managing Director, Sampie Groenewald.

Engineering work is being performed by Powertech System Integrators (PTSI) with the help of external contractors at ARIO‘s premises in Pretoria.

FlyH2 is also proud to announce the addition of aeronautical engineering student, Ike-Lee to the project. Ike-lee will be assisting AMS with the aeronautical engineering aspects of the integration during his vacation. Ike-Lee will then, as part of his masters, join FlyH2 Aerospace for 2 years spearheading development of the various algorithms that will make up the SkylaFMS Flight Management System.

Mark van Wyk

Mark van Wyk is a co-founder of FlyH2 Aerospace. He holds a Private Pilot License (PPL), RPAS Remote Pilot License and for fun, a Hang Glider Pilots License too. Mark’s background includes 20 years experience in systems architecture, analysis and enterprise software development. He is the author of the FlyH2 Skyla Flight Management System. Mark is a passionate environmentalist, hydrogen fuel cell expert and electronics hobbyist.