Rolls-Royce is nearing ground tests of a hydrogen engine

From manufacturers to airlines, stakeholders in the commercial air transport industry have shown their commitment aircraft with hydrogen engines against the backdrop of their decarbonisation targets. Two power stations firmly support this area EasyJet and Rolls-Roycewho are working closely together on the development of hydrogen aviation technology.


Earlier this week, easyJet laid out its ambitious net-zero roadmap at a conference in Luton, England, attended by Simple Flying. At the same time, many initiatives were discusseda particular feature was the deployment of hydrogen-powered aircraft.


easyJet notes that hydrogen has no operational CO2 emissions. Consequently, the British carrier partnered with several other firms, including Rolls-Royceto accelerate the deployment of the element in the commercial aviation industry.

Remarkably, the airline was quickly on board Airbus’ The ZEROe program comes amid the manufacturer’s mission to put the first zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035 using hydrogen technology. Moreover, easyJet has entered into a multi-million pound partnership with Rolls-Royce to produce a hydrogen engine and carbon removal technology.

The hydrogen combustion engine project is part of the H2ZERO initiative, in which companies will conduct engine tests. Two primary ground tests are planned. One on the Rolls-Royce AE 2100 turboprop engine is due for completion by 2022, and the other on the Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine is in the future.

Looking at the sister unit AE 2100, which is scheduled to be tested, Rolls-Royce officials told Simple Flying that the hydrogen involved in the test program is coming from Scotland. The UK has recently made waves in the hydrogen sphere, with the likes of ZeroAvia and magniX are developing well with their facilities across the country.

A word from the company

Speaking at the conference on Monday, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer Grazia Vitadini took the opportunity to update the status of the program. Impressively, Rolls-Royce is making final preparations for the initial ground test of the AE 2100 engine. However, the company is already planning to move to the flight test phase. The main goal is that by the mid-2030s, hydrogen will work on small and medium-sized aircraft.

Vittadini had the following to say about her company’s progress in the hydrogen space:

“I am very pleased to say how quickly we are progressing towards the first ground test of hydrogen burning. The engine is there and the hydrogen has been delivered. Of course, this is only the first step. Rolls-Royce engines are built to fly and our aim is to take this technology into the air and actually power a range of aircraft. “EasyJet and Rolls-Royce are exactly the same in this matter. We are both signatories to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign and we are determined and excited to join the race alongside easyJet as they rapidly decarbonise the skies and have a net-zero future.”

easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren (centre left) and Rolls-Royce CTO Grazia Vittadini (centre right) are excited about the possibilities of hydrogen. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple flight

The main thing is the case

Vitadini emphasized that many solutions are working across the industry to reduce carbon emissions, including the cultivation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It recognizes the need to continue research and development in these areas simultaneously and in concert. However, among all of them, she believes that hydrogen shows significant potential. As a result, Rolls-Royce is committed to exploring and exploiting these perspectives.

Since December, easyJet no longer relies on carbon offset schemes to reduce emissions, so a major move towards alternative fuels will go a long way towards creating a sustainable aviation ecosystem. Ultimately, the airline aims to be net zero by 2050. Rolls-Royce is gaining huge ground in electric and hydrogen solutionsit is undoubtedly a great partner.

What do you think about the potential of hydrogen air travel? What do you make of the overall sustainable aviation initiatives? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

https://simpleflying.com/rolls-royce-hydrogen-engine-ground-test/ Rolls-Royce is nearing ground tests of a hydrogen engine

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