Project Details

HYCARUS Strategy

Aircraft architecture is undergoing a trend towards a “more electric aircraft” which is characterized by a higher proportion of electrical systems substituting hydraulically or pneumatically driven components, and thus increasing the amount of electrical power.Source: Dassault Aviation

One of the objectives of the HYCARUS project is to support the progress in independent power supply on-board an aircraft. HYCARUS relies on hydrogen-air proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system technology that is currently the most interesting solution for an airborne application with high power density, lighter weight and smaller volume than other fuel cell systems. For more information on fuel cells and hydrogen, please refer to the section “Our Technologies”.

Hydrogen-based fuel cells will provide electrical power at several cabin locations using a compact design and being located directly at the power-consuming equipment. PEM fuel cells provide multiple performances, silent and pollution-free operation. The development and the design of such a “Generic Fuel Cell System” (GFCS) in a “non-essential application” is at the core of the HYCARUS strategy.

The GFCS will be used on a demonstrator level in representative conditions, also called “technology readiness level 6” (TRL6). The demonstrator will be used in a Secondary Power System, a crew rest compartment or in a galley in order to supply electrical and heat power, as well as potable hot water. The by-product “oxygen depleted air” (ODA) could also be used  to extract moisture or leakages of hydrogen: ODA could be used for inertising a fuel system in an aircraft.

Intensive ground and flight tests, planned within HYCARUS, will thoroughly examine and demonstrate functionality and safety of the GFCS, support its certification process and enable a fast implementation and application of the system to various cabin interior elements.

HYCARUS will thus:

  1. Develop and design a generic fuel cell system compatible with non-essential aircraft application in large commercial aircraft or secondary power sources on-board a business jet
  2. Partially reuse the by-products: heat, water and ODA for other applications


The HYCARUS project comprises 10 partners from 5 European countries: Zodiac Aerospace (Zodiac Aerotechnics, Zodiac Aeroelectric, Zodias Galleys Europe, Zodiac Cabin Controls), CEA, Dassault, ALAT, INTA, JRC and ARTTIC.

  • Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives
  • dassault
  • Air Liquide
  • European Commission, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport
  • inta
  • Zodiac

Who’s who?

Around 30 experts from all over Europe join their strenghts to make HYCARUS a success!

  • eijkelenboom
  • Aline6-couleur
  • photo AK_small
  • hoogeveen
  • default
  • thiry
  • default
  • bourdon
  • bensadoun
  • papon
  • muyu
  • gager
  • cazenave
  • libis
  • default
  • maroto
  • bouillo
  • kerschgens
  • pilar
  • gerard
  • default
  • savin
  • pisot
  • crespi
  • schiphorst
  • munck
  • vinklatova
  • Yann Heise