DeltaHawk Studies Hydrogen Power


DeltaHawk Engines announced today that it is launching an effort to run its two-stroke, four-cylinder compression-ignition engine on hydrogen. The company says that it has “recently completed advanced simulation analysis of a new, hydrogen-fueled variant of its engine family for multiple markets. These tests have demonstrated DeltaHawk’s highly adaptable engine architecture is suitable for hydrogen fuel.”

While most hydrogen-powered vehicles have used fuel cells—where the a combination of hydrogen and oxygen are used to create electricity—the DeltaHawk initiative will use a variation of its existing piston engine. “The use of proven internal combustion engine (ICE) technology with hydrogen fuel replaces more expensive, highly infrastructure-reliant, fuel cell systems,” says the company. “A hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine also has higher tolerance for hydrogen impurities compared to fuel cells and, importantly, allows leveraging of the existing depth of ICE manufacturing knowledge and extensive service networks.”

“Environmental responsibility is a foundational pillar of our company” said Christopher Ruud, Chief Executive Officer of DeltaHawk. “In the general aviation industry, our family of engines are creating a highly reduced net carbon footprint coupled with airborne lead removal, thanks in large part to their fuel efficiency and capability to burn next generation sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Now, with our planned ability to expand our engine family to include variants that will utilize hydrogen fuel in aviation, commercial and military applications, we’ve taken another major step toward environmental sustainability, climate neutrality and a zero emissions future.”

No timeline has been given. DeltaHawk, which showed off its recently FAA-approved DHK180 at AirVenture last summer, has also begun a program with Bearhawk to produce a firewall-forward kit for the Model 5.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


  1. Hydrogen..NO !!! stick with diesels.!!
    Maybe next add 2 more cylinders, as a V-6, making 300 + HP…

    The D180 will be a good replacement for the TCM GO-300 in my Cessna 175B..
    [ it’s a heavy engine so the D180 won’t change the CG much ]

  2. As I commented on another site;
    A diesel engine has to use diesel to initiate combustion, so, it would be a dual-fuel engine, using both diesel and hydrogen, propane or nat. gas.
    A number of large diesel trucks operate as dual fuel units….very commonly using nat.gas or propane.


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