Swiss start-up Destinus, established by Mikhail Kokorich in 2021, has set its sights on creating a hypersonic aircraft fueled by liquid hydrogen by 2030. The Spanish Ministry of Science has awarded grants amounting to 27 million euros to help support this endeavor. Of this amount, 12 million euros will be utilized to establish an infrastructure in the Madrid region for propeller development. The remaining 15 million will be used to conduct additional research into hydrogen engines, which pose several challenges.
Destinus has created two scale models, Jungfrau and Eiger. The start-up intends to proceed with a test plane by the end of 2023 to trial supersonic flight and hydrogen propulsion, the main components of the project. Nevertheless, the technology still requires a significant amount of testing and fine-tuning.
The objective of the Destinus project is to build a 25-seat aircraft capable of traveling from Europe to Australia in four hours and from London to New York in just 90 minutes. However, the obstacles are numerous. Liquid hydrogen necessitates an equal load capacity onboard compared to typical jet fuels and is 20 times more expensive than kerosene. There are concerns about the energy supply to achieve hypersonic speed and whether the race towards ultra-speed is necessary. Without a doubt, the project is ambitious and provokes a lot of discussion.