A fuel cell-powered remotely piloted aircraft buzzed quietly into the morning sky in a park near Van Nuys, Calif., August 25. The unorthodox flight was a triumph of collegiate innovation made possible by a nurturing program at California State University Los Angeles and a boost from NASA’s Academic Investments Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
The college figures this is only the fourth public flight of a fuel cell-powered aircraft anywhere, and the first to use an improved type of fuel cell that greatly increases the power-to-weight ratio available for the aircraft. Fuel cells produce electrical energy in a conversion process that uses hydrogen and yields only water as a byproduct.
California Students Join Small Circle of Revolutionary Fuel-Cell Fliers – Link
Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.View more articles by Gareth Branwyn