I was reading about this in Flyer magazine over lunch.
I’m impressed, it’s obviously in the very early stages but Airbus are paying attention and it shows that there is a future for this kind of power source. Solar Impulse made a good impression with their solar powered plane although that seemed to be significantly limited by the sheer volume of cells required to power the aircraft.
Hydrogen does seem to be a more realistic and achievable goal though and the stats for the DLR look promising:
Max Speed: 200kph
Fuel consumption: 160km of flight uses 1.2kg of Hydrogen, about €10
Downsides: Hydrogen extraction isn’t completely carbon free because much it is a by-product of natural gas production or from liquid hydrocarbons. But while it’s not quite perfect it’s a far more palatable option than sticking with fossil fuels and gives us a tiny, teeny glimmer of hope that there’s life beyond oil.