The Skai: Alaka’i’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Aircraft of the Future

The current problem with aircraft travel is that the machines themselves are polluting the environment. Yet, because of their speed getting from one place to another, humanity needs them.

The main issue is that aircraft engines use a lot of fuel and release noxious elements into the atmosphere.

So, to combat aircraft environmental issues, people have been designing electrically-powered helicopters and planes. However, there are limitations to battery technology which make that application impractical for most aircraft designs.

Unlike those using batteries, Alaka’i Technologies is using hydrogen fuel cells to power Skai crafts.

Announced recently, Skai crafts are electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) that can use hydrogen as a fuel source instead of batteries.

The Skai has a six-rotor propulsion system and a flight time up to four hours, about 400 miles.

It was designed with the help of BMW’s Designworks and can carry 1,000 pounds of cargo and five people.

Initially, Skai will be designed for a human pilot, with later iterations focusing on ground-piloting and autonomous versions.

While many think autonomous cars is decades away, some think that autonomous flight may come sooner than anticipated.

As Brian Morrison, co-founder, president and CTO of Alaka’i Technologies, said: “Skai offers practical, real-life solutions to everything from relieving traffic congestion to delivering supplies during natural disasters. Skai is set to offer affordable, realistic applications in the commercial, private, freight and personal air mobility markets.”

The press release for Skai does not mention where the company is getting their hydrogen fuel cell technology from.

It does note, however, that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has initiated its test program.

Right now, it is unclear when Alaka’i Technologies expectes Skai to be certified or when  a working prototype may be ready.