Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are answers to commonly asked questions about H2C, airships, hydrogen, and how all this pertains to addressing climate change. If you have a question pertaining to our business that's not already answered below, please reach out to us through the Contact Us button below, and we'll either answer you or direct you to the resources to do so.

What is Clipper airship's propulsion system?

The Clipper airship uses four (4) side-mounted 6-blade variable pitch propeller engines, and a single rear-mounted variable pitch 8-blade propeller engine, providing combined horsepower of 33,200 SHP. All five engines use electric motors that are powered by on-board fuel cells, thereby providing 100% carbon-free flight.

What is the projected useful life of the airship?

With routine maintenance, the Clipper airship should be in service for five (5) decades or more and definitely much longer than conventional aircraft. Nevertheless, our financial projections are based on a useful life of merely thirty (30) years.

What sorts of patent protections has H2C secured to date?

H2C currently has ten (10) issued patents comprising over 250 granted claims, and numerous pending US and international patents. All ten patents are novel and important, with perhaps the most ground-breaking having been the original patent filed in 2008, and issued in 2012, on a system and method for transporting hydrogen from the places where it can be produced most economically to where clean energy is most needed, and based on the recognition that use of an airship will overcome the well-documented problems with transportation of hydrogen using trucks, rail, ship and pipelines

In addition to H2C's currently issued and pending patents, we are routinely applying for additional patents as engineering refinements are continuously developed and the company's disruptive technologies are fully deployed both for long haul transport of hydrogen and freight, as well as ‘last mile’ distribution of hydrogen.

What are the critical components of the paradigm shift you see for hydrogen, and H2C's role therein?

First and foremost, climate change is pressuring humanity to realize that it is running against time. This pressure will accelerate with each passing year as large-scale fires, floods, hurricanes, and other biosphere-generated crises continue to envelope the globe.

Second, many leading scientists agree that hydrogen is currently the only fuel capable of replacing fossil fuels on a global scale for transportation, electricity generation, steel manufacturing and cement production. Over 30 countries have aggressive hydrogen roadmaps and top analysts, including those at McKinsey & Company, Bloomberg, Roland Berger, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs have identified hydrogen as a key energy transition pillar and investment opportunity. Due to the climate crisis, and the vast quantities of hydrogen that will be required, it is essential that the majority of hydrogen be created from clean, renewable energy sources.

Third, any place that can generate electricity for 3¢ per kilowatt or less can begin immediately to extract hydrogen from water using simple electrolysis techniques and be able to export that energy to customers around the world. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other major fossil fuel producing countries have established their commitment to immediately develop another commodity energy supply for export. The new plant being built at NEOM in Saudi Arabia (the first of ten) will alone produce 650 metric tonnes per day of green hydrogen. But this is a mere drop in the bucket of what is coming, at or below cost parity with fossil-based fuel. Worldwide, there are 30 large scale green hydrogen production facilities currently planned or already under construction.

Fourth, getting massive quantities of hydrogen cost-effectively to global consumer markets will be the key bottleneck that the Clipper airship has been specifically designed to resolve.

Fifth, the cost of delivering cryogenic hydrogen anywhere in the world by the Clipper airship is less expensive than rail, trucks, ships, and even pipelines for distances of approximately 1,000 miles or greater.

Sixth, we anticipate a significant “early mover advantage” among the many green hydrogen production facilities now planned or under construction will go to the producers with the best means to quickly and flexibly deliver the hydrogen they make to global markets.

And finally, seventh, from our perspective, this means that those producers who are at the head of the line for receiving Clipper airships for hydrogen transport will be the “winners” in this multi-trillion-dollar planetary fuel shift.

What navigation and guidance systems does the Clipper airship use?

The Clipper uses traditional, off-the-shelf navigation and guidance technology. Both Garmin and Honeywell make excellent systems that are constantly being improved for the civilian market. The Clipper will acquire and integrate the most-advanced such commercially-available system as part of building the prototype.

Is H2C privately held?

Yes. H2 Clipper, Inc. (H2C) is a closely-held Delaware corporation. The company was formed on June 10, 2011, although its intellectual property dates back to the October 9, 2008 patent filing entitled "System, Method and Apparatus for Widespread Commercialization of Hydrogen as a Carbon-Free Alternative Fuel Source," and subsequent patent applications filed by Rinaldo Brutoco, all of the patents maturing from which are now owned by H2C.

Does the Clipper airship's use of hydrogen create an inordinate safety risk?

No. Although hydrogen is flammable, based on the use of proper safety technology, the hydrogen that provides lift and propulsion for the Clipper airship will not explode even in the most severe of circumstances.

Thousands of hydrogen fuel cell electric automobiles and trucks are currently driving on roads in California, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and France without a single safety issue. In the last decade, fuel cell vehicles have been subject to extensive testing to prove this is the case. For example, it is well documented that a rifle fired at a tank filled with gasoline, diesel fuel, or natural gas will cause the tank to explode like a bomb. However, the same rifle shot from short range at a tank filled with hydrogen will cause a hole in the tank from which the hydrogen will be released, but no explosion (see video here).

It is also well documented that if a gasoline leak from a car is ignited, the tank will explode and rapidly consume the entire vehicle. But doing the same thing — igniting a leak — in a hydrogen tank will result in a blue flame escaping the tank until all the hydrogen is exhausted. Unlike the gasoline tank, this does not create an explosion and doesn't even raise the internal temperature of the vehicle by more than a couple of degrees (see video here).

The reason for this is the enormous expansion rate of hydrogen, and the fact that hydrogen is lighter than air and rapidly expands when released. In short, rigorous testing has confirmed that hydrogen is by far the safest fuel known to humans, as has been repeatedly demonstrated whenever a hydrogen accident has occurred, and no explosion followed. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai currently sell hydrogen fuel cell cars in California; and with over 60,000 hydrogen refueling events by ordinary citizens, not a single explosion has ever been reported. That's a record that even battery-powered electric vehicles would envy!

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