Rolls-Royce launches hydrogen-powered aircraft engine testing. First they will test a turboprop, then a jet
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Rolls-Royce launches hydrogen-powered aircraft engine testing. First they will test a turboprop, then a jet

According to the Financial Times Rolls-Royce will begin ground testing two of its own aircraft engines using hydrogen fuel, according to reports. The AE 2100 turboprop motor will be used in the first test. These engines are available for both civil and military aircraft. The US will host a second test with the Pearl 15 jet engine.

This is Pearl 15 as it looks
Alan Newby, Rolls-Royce’s director of aerospace technology, stated in a statement that these tests would allow for early detection of problems in the hydrogen combustion process. Full flight tests will take place within the next two-years.

The company has been focusing on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) instead of hydrogen, which can dramatically reduce aviation emissions in the near future. In June, Sweden saw the first flight of an ATR 72-60 powered by SAF.

Rolls-Royce made the decision to test hydrogen fuel during a time of criticism from the aviation industry for excessive aircraft pollution. After the removal of the covid restrictions, the number of flights and emissions rose in 2022. The consulting firm IBA forecasts that carbon dioxide emissions will rise 36% over last year and will reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

Many industrial companies involved in the aviation industry see hydrogen engines as a viable option. Airbus, for example, aims to create the first zero-emission commercial aircraft in 2035. Airbus even presented three designs for environmentally friendly aircraft in the ZEROe concept.

We also reported that Kawasaki Heavy Industries has developed a hydrogen engine to power a passenger plane with 150 seats and a range of 2 to 3 thousand kilometers.

Rolls-Royce launches hydrogen-powered aircraft engine testing. First they will test a turboprop, then a jet
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