Easyjet and Rolls Royce have launched a partnership to develop and test hydrogen combustion engine technology for aircraft.
The H2Zero partnership aims to show that “hydrogen has the potential to power a range of aircraft from the mid-2030s onwards”, including “Easyjet-sized” aircraft.
The companies will carry out an early concept ground test of a Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engine in the UK later this year, followed by a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.
The location for the latter has not yet been decided, though the Rolls-Royce test facility in Mississippi is listed as one of the options.
Rolls-Royce said that it ultimately aims to take the hydrogen technology “into the air”.
Rolls-Royce said that the programme will build on initial hydrogen combustion and fuel system rig tests that it is undertaking with Cranfield and Loughborough universities.
Today, we’ve announced a ground-breaking new partnership #H2ZERO with @easyJet pioneering the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology, that has the potential to power easyJet-size aircraft from the mid-2030s onwards. #jetzero https://t.co/ru2IERV7MU pic.twitter.com/NcV9YhKk6D
— Rolls-Royce (@RollsRoyce) July 19, 2022
Johan Lundgren, CEO of Easyjet, said:
“The technology that emerges from this programme has the potential to power Easyjet-size aircraft, which is why we will also be making a multi-million pound investment into this programme.
“In order to achieve decarbonisation at scale, progress on the development of zero emission technology for narrowbody aircraft is crucial. Together with Rolls-Royce we look forward to leading the industry to tackle this challenge head-on.”
Grazia Vittadini, chief technology and strategy officer at Rolls-Royce, added:
“H2ZERO is a big step forward for Rolls-Royce and we are excited to be working with a partner that shares a desire to innovate and find new answers to aviation’s biggest challenges.
“We at Rolls-Royce want to be ready to pioneer sustainability with whatever the future requires, be it hydrogen, electric power, sustainable aviation fuel, or gas turbine efficiency. This agreement further inspires us to move forward.”
For more information on Easyjet’s eco measures, see: How sustainable is Easyjet?