Living science

Successful emission-free test flight!

Steffen Flade is developing a hydrogen fuel cell powered aircraft

Steffen Flade is the pioneer of the electric air taxi

My colleagues come from a range of disciplines and different countries, including Spain, Ghana, India, Georgia and Germany. Together, we are developing an aircraft with hybrid-electric propulsion. It draws its power from a hydrogen fuel cell, which is supported by a high-performance battery during take-off and ascent. Recently, we successfully tested our four-passenger demonstrator, Hy4, during a flight campaign in Slovenia. We tested each individual function and the entire fuel system in the laboratory before the campaign. I am responsible for the development of the powertrain. I really enjoy the close cooperation with industrial and university partners from aviation and electrical engineering. Hy4 is the world’s first four-passenger aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It’s great to experience it up close and see it working at the airfield!


The things that make my work special are…

… the exciting topics and diverse possibilities. I’m currently moving away from the laboratory and the test stand towards more work with CAD design and electronic circuit boards, as well as project management, which is a great new challenge for me.


DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics

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