TRAVELSTART, the Scandinavian online travel pi.jpgoneer, is doing its bit to save the planet by teaming up with the South African developer of an environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel cell powered experimental plane. Travelstart’s technology development arm, TravelLab, is investing in the project to get it off the ground.
Globally, aviation accounts for 4% to 9 % of human impact on climate change and is considered the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our companies want to do something substantial about the threat to the environment. Carbon offset programmes will not combat the real issues, but alternative power sources and innovations such as hydrogen fuel cell technology could make a huge difference, long-term” says Travelstart CEO, Stephan Ekbergh.
With Travelstart’s help, Mark van Wyk, a technology developer at TravelLab, is building the prototype for the world’s first commercial two-seater hydrogen fuel cell powered aircraft.
Van Wyk sees homemade hydrogen as a major solution to energy supply and availability problems. “While I didn’t invent the fuel cell nor the aircraft, I believe I have achieved an excellent balance in blending the two technologies and would like to see this technology commercialised in aviation. This could be the dawn of a new age in aviation,” he says.
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