Latest News | 20 July 2022

Rolls-Royce sets out plan to make Net Zero flight a reality

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Rolls-Royce has announced a new leading-edge hydrogen programme and given a further update on its research into hybrid-electric power as it continues to pioneer new forms of aviation sustainability.

The engineering giant is planning a comprehensive series of rig and engine tests to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for small-mid size aircraft from the mid-2030s onwards.

It also has further ambitions to move this on to a flight test phase as part of the programme in the long term.

Two ground tests are planned on a Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engine in the UK this year and a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine at a future date.

The programme follows market research, which concluded there is market potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft.

It also complements broader research into hydrogen infrastructure and transportation that Rolls-Royce is already carrying out with easyJet.

Hybrid-electric and hydrogen power systems are also part of a regional aircraft research project underway with Wideroe and Embraer.

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said: “We are pioneers of power and this programme puts us in a great position to pave the way to make hydrogen and hybrid-electric systems a reality.

“Combined with our work on Sustainable Aviation Fuel and further gas turbine efficiency, we are making real progress on the hard yards of research and development towards making Net Zero flight a reality.”

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