The luxury car and air engine manufacturer revealed Monday that it conducted the first test run of a hydrogen-powered modern aircraft engine, marking a first for the industry.
The test on a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine used green hydrogen, which was provided by both wind and tidal power, according to a press release. The renewable energy for the test was generated in the Orkney Islands in the United Kingdom. The physical test happened at an outdoor test facility at the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Boscombe Down site.
“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,” said Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer of Rolls-Royce. “We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero-carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.”
“This is a real success for our partnership team,” EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said. “We are committed to continuing to support this groundbreaking 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.”
Both Rolls-Royce and EasyJet believe hydrogen could be key to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and are already planning the second stages of tests. They also plan to conduct flight tests in the future.
The two companies have both signed the United Nations-backed “Race to Zero” campaign, which signifies their commitments to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.