The U.S. Air Force is investigating whether the technology it has developed to create a hydrogen fuel cell engine could one day power a jet fighter jet.
The Pentagon is also investigating whether a hydrogen battery could oneday power a small passenger plane.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced in December it has been working on a hydrogen powered jet engine and is looking for commercial partners for the technology.
The Pentagon says the new engine would allow the U.A.E. to fly a much smaller, faster and cheaper version of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
DARPA says it’s looking for a small battery-powered version of the engine that could replace existing battery-only jets.
In December, DARPA released the first commercial test flight of a hydrogen engine at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The new engine, developed by Lockheed Martin, uses a fuel cell to generate electricity instead of air.
DARP says it could be a promising alternative to electric vehicles, which require batteries.
DARAP says the technology could eventually be scaled up to power larger aircraft, as well as large commercial jets.