ScanEagle gets hydrogen-powered fuel cell

The successful test of a flight of a Boeing Insitu ScanEagle using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell will enable the unmanned aircraft system to carry an increased payload capacity since the fuel cell weighs less than traditional gas and heavy fuel engines, the company said April 5.

Insitu, the Naval Research Laboratory and United Technologies worked together to install United Technologies' 1500-watt (two-horsepower) fuel cell and integrated it with NRL's hydrogen fueling technology to develop a working propulsion model, which was then integrated into the aircraft, the company said.

The hydrogen-powered fuel cell will be fielded as a modular upgrade, to the expeditionary Group 2 ScanEagle, the company said.

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