• The Greenliner

    The world’s first fuel cell powered airliner

Introducing the Greenliner

The world’s first fuel cell powered airliner


The Greenliner is a fuel cell powered regional aircraft. It uses liquid hydrogen as its fuel which is stored inside the fuselage, behind the passenger cabin. The fuel cells inside the wings produce electricity which then powers 18 propellers at the back of the fuselage. More details can be found in the technical report.


Until today, the aircraft industry is incapable of adopting the necessary changes in order to reduce its contribution to global warming and prevent the unsustainable use of our natural resources. Due to the rapid depletion of fossil fuels and the implementation of carbon taxes next to the societal changes, the future is clear: it will be green flying or no flying.

Therefore, we decided to develop a solution for this problem. Thus, the Greenliner was born, an aircraft which produces no harmful emissions during its operation.


The Greenliner was designed during the Design Synthesis Exercise which is the final graduation project of the Aerospace Engineering Bachelor programme at the Delft University of Technology. It was designed during 10 weeks by a team of 10 students. Next to receiving high grades for their work, the team was also awarded with the Anthony Fokker Prize 2018 of the NLF, the Dutch Aerospace Foundation.

What it can do

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  • No harmful emissions

    Just water!

    The Greenliner emits only water and noise. The water is emitted in such a way that no clouds are produced.

  • Range

    925 km

    The Greenliner has a range of 925 km (500 nmi), which means that it can cover 80% of all flights in regional aviation.

  • Flight time

    2 hrs

    The Greenliner can fly for up to two hours, excluding loitering time.

  • 19 Passengers

    CS-23 certification possible

    The Greenliner was designed to accomodate 19 passengers such that it can be certified within both CS-23 or CS-25.

  • Weight

    6450 kg MTOM

    Operating empty mass: 4400 kg

    Fuel mass: 150 kg (liquid hydrogen

    Payload mass: 1900 kg Payload

    Maximum take off mass: 6450 kg

  • Safety

    Liquid hydrogen storage in separate compartment

    The liquid hydrogen is stored in a non-integral tank in a separate compartment of the fuselage, such that any leakage is first contained and can then be safely vented into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the propulsion system contains a high degree of redundancy due to its 18 propellers and electric motors.

  • Distributed Electric Propulsion

    18 propellers

    The Greenliner makes use of a distributed electric propulsion system, where 18 propellers are placed at the back of the fuselage. Through the principle of boundary layer ingestion, this yields a very high propulsive efficiency.

  • Fuel cells

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Instead of combusting the hydrogen, we convert its electrochemical energy into electricity using PEM fuel cells which are placed inside the wings.

  • Advanced electric motor technology

    Axial flux electric motors

    The distributed electric propulsion system of the Greenliner uses axial flux electric motors, a new type of electric motors which are lighter than conventional radial flux motors.


Distributed electric propulsion system with 18 propellers, including the use of boundary layer ingestion


PEM fuel cells inside the wings which provide electricity, as well as wing bending relief


Active air intake which provides oxygen for the fuel cell

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