|Use of hydrogen and natural gas in aviation|
Large scope of investigation works has been fulfilled recently in Russia regarding possibility of use liquefied natural gas and liquid hydrogen as alternative fuel.
In the 1970-s Government of our country committed Tupolev design bureau in cooperation with many Institutes and Specialized facilities to investigate this possibility. As a result of research and design activities the first in the world prototype aircraft TU-155 based on serial passenger aircraft TU-154. NK-8-2u engine was modified for operation on liquid hydrogen (LH) and liquefied natural gas) LNG), cryogenic systems and components were made, safety system was developed. These work allowed TU-155 aircraft to perform about 60 long range flights without failure of cryogenic system.
The components were developed and the aircraft was fueled with LH and LNG at specially arranged experimental facilities.
The first flight of TU-155 operating LH was performed 15 April, 1988 and LNG—18 January, 1989.
Due to high reliability and safety demonstration flights were performed to Bratislava, Nice, Hannover, Berlin from Sheremetievo airport with fueling from tankers of different type and different manufacturers. In the process of the investigation a significant reduction of toxic emission level was reached.
“Tupolev” PSC currently is proceeding towards use of alternative fuel, developed and tested aircraft cryogenic structures on which the projects of modified TGU-204K and TU-334K operating LNG with much better economic efficiency than that of traditional species of fuel.
In 1990–1994 “Tupolev” PSC in cooperation with Deutsch Airbus made a large scope of works and demonstrated possibility of A-310 and Do-328 modification for LH operation.
We believe it is reasonable now to accept LNG as alternative fuel switching to LH as the carbon resources are exhausted.