Airbus - Fuel Cell Copter

Description of the company

Airbus manufactures industry-leading commercial aircraft, helicopters, military transports, satellites and launch vehicles, and provides solutions on the global scale for data services, navigation, secure communications and urban mobility among others.

Initial situation

We are currently experiencing a revolution where drones are becoming essential platforms for many applications such as observation, filming and urban delivery. In particular the offer potential for parcel delivery as internet commerce booms and current road based transportation is at its limits. Thus, shifting urban delivery from the ground to the air is  under high research & investigation by major stakeholders and a first step to bigger applications!


Existing battery driven delivery drones are limited by the parcel weights to very short flight time and range due to insufficient battery energy densities and they have limited availability du to long charging times. These performances are totally insufficient to cover the actual operations needs of parcel delivery whether in big cities or rural areas.

Aims of the project

The major aim of the project is to improve and demonstrate the capabilities of hydrogen as a new and more powerful renewable energy solution to multiply the flight time and range by a 5 to 10 fold while reducing re-fueling times by at least 10-fold. Various solutions or improvements shall be analyzed, researched, if possible tested and proven for operations, such as hydrogen powerd fule cells or hybrid fuel cell & battery solutions.


  • Analyze satus quo of parcel delivery and long range drones
  • Identify futher weight, autonomy and range improvements or alternative designs for a parcel delivery drone, such as:
  1. Improved or new solutions for electrical and thermal energy management
  2. Improved of new structural integration solutions
  • Suppert in preparing & performing endurance test flight of an improved fuel cell copter (FCC)
  • Propose alternative concepts, possibly based on other alternative renewable energy source, and future research activities enabling upscaling

Target group

Be motivated to develop new aerospace applications using sustainable energy sources! Besides general engineering sciences the project will also require good knowledge of aeronautical, structural & environmental engineering, of regenerative energies. The students should entrepreneurship and manage the challenges inherent to new technologies and innovations.


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