Rolls-Royce and easyJet reckons they are a step closer to more environmental friendly aircraft, after staging a first test of a modern aero jet engine running on hydrogen.
The engine giant and the low-cost airline teamed up in July on a project to prove that ‘green hydrogen’ – created using energy captured from wind and tidal power – could be used as a “zero carbon aviation fuel of the future”. Both firms have cited the fuel as a key part of their future decarbonisation strategies.
Now, hydrogen-powered planes aren’t ready to take to the sky just yet: this was a ground test. It took place at MoD Boscombe Down, and used a specially adapted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine.
The green hydrogen for the text was provided by European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), and was generated at their hydrogen production facility on Eday in the Orkney Islands.
A series of further rig tests will follow, before the two firms aim to conduct a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.