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Implementation of Fuel Cells in Aviation from a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Perspective


Hydrogen is one of the most promising power sources for meeting the aviation sector’s long-term decarbonization goals. Although on-board hydrogen systems, namely, fuel cells, are extensively researched, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) perspective remains mostly unaddressed. This paper analyzes fuel cells from an MRO standpoint, based on a literature review and comparison with the automotive sector. It also examines how well the business models and key resources of MRO providers are currently suited to provide future MRO services. It is shown that fuel cells require extensive MRO activities and that these are needed to meet the aviation sector’s requirements for price, safety and, especially, durability. To some extent, experience from the automotive sector can be built upon, particularly with respect to facility requirements and qualification of personnel. Yet, MRO providers’ existing resources only partially allow them to provide these services. MRO providers’ underlying business models must adapt to the implementation of fuel cells in the aviation sector. MRO providers and services should, therefore, be considered and act as enablers for the introduction of fuel cells in the aviation industry.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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