The future of Dutch aerospace? Meet Fokker Next Gen’s hydrogen plane


Linnea Ahlgren
2023-05-23 02:30:11

Dutch aerospace pioneer Fokker is looking to make a comeback. This time however, it won’t be polluting Jet A fuel propelling the company’s aircraft. Instead, in the revived guise of Fokker Next Gen, it is playing the long game and joining in on the clean-burning hydrogen hype. 

With €25 million in funding from the Dutch government, and an additional EU Clean Aviation grant of undisclosed amount, Fokker is aiming at a 2035 entry into service of a clean-sheet aircraft design operating on liquid hydrogen. The plane’s intended range is 2,500 km, meaning it could fly across Europe from London to Kyiv – without generating any CO₂ emissions.

Fokker Next Gen intends to be done with the conceptual design stage of the aircraft by 2027, with a critical design review coming up three years later. Assembly of the new plane will happen in 2032, with the first prototype flight scheduled for 2033. That is, if everything goes according to plan, which is seldom the case with new aircraft projects. 

Meanwhile, the envisioned timeline is understandable, given that 2035 is the year proclaimed by European aerospace giant Airbus as the arrival of its ZEROe hydrogen-powered commercial aeroplane. 

Spacious and quiet

Looking at the first digitally generated images of the airframe-to-be, Fokker Next Gen is  hoping to build a dual-aisle aircraft with 2-3-2 seating, most closely resembling the layout of an Airbus A330. 

Airplane seats rendering