easyJet and Rolls-Royce today announced a ground-breaking new partnership, H2ZERO, that will pioneer the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology capable of powering a range of aircraft, including those in the narrow-body market segment.
Both companies have committed to working together on a series of engine tests on the ground, starting later this year and have a shared ambition to take the technology into the air. The objective of the partnership is to demonstrate that hydrogen has the potential to power a range of aircraft from the mid-2030s onwards.
Through H2ZERO, the companies will support an early concept ground test of a Rolls-Royce AE2100 engine in the UK later this year. This will be followed by a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine – a range of location options are being assessed for this including the Rolls-Royce test facility in Mississippi, USA. The programme will build on initial hydrogen combustion and fuel system rig tests that Rolls-Royce is undertaking with both Cranfield and Loughborough universities.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “In order to achieve net zero by 2050, we have always said that radical action is needed to address aviation’s climate impact. That’s why today, we are so pleased to announce this partnership with Rolls-Royce. 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.”