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Rolls-Royce and easyJet Successfully Run World’s First Hydrogen Aero Engine

Rolls-Royce and easyJet have set a new aviation milestone with the successful run of a modern aero engine on hydrogen. The test was conducted on an early demonstrator engine using green hydrogen produced through wind and tidal power.

Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A Hydrogen Test at Boscombe Down

On Monday (November 28, 2022), easyJet announced that in partnership with Rolls-Royce, the world’s first aero engine powered by hydrogen has been successfully tested. The ground test was conducted with an early concept demonstrator engine powered by green hydrogen, which was produced by wind and tidal power, marking a major milestone towards proving hydrogen could be the zero-carbon aviation fuel of the future. The test took place at an outdoor facility at MoD Boscombe Down, UK using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine. Green hydrogen was supplied by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), and was generated using renewable energy at their hydrogen production and tidal test facility on Eday in the Orkney Islands, UK.

In Monday’s announcement, Rolls-Royce’s Chief Technology Officer, Grazia Vittadini, said,

“The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone. We only announced our partnership with easyJet in July and we are already off to an incredible start with this landmark achievement. We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.”

Also commenting on the landmark test, easyJet’s CEO, John Lundgren, said,

“This is a real success for our partnership team. We are committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking research because hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including easyJet-sized aircraft. That will be a huge step forward in meeting the challenge of net zero by 2050.”

Following analysis of ground test, the partners plan additional rig tests, leading to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine. The partnership has been inspired by the UN-backed ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, of which both companies are signatories, which is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

easyJet carries nearly 100 million passengers annually on around 1,000 routes to over 150 airports across 35 countries. The airline has a fleet of over 300 aircraft, and over 300 million Europeans live within an hour’s drive of an airport served by easyJet. The popular low-cost carrier (LCC) is dedicated to innovation and leads the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational efficiencies. easyJet was named “Britain’s Most Admired Company” in the transport sector for 2020, based on the longest running annual corporate reputation study in the UK.

Source: easyJet

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