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Rolls-Royce and easyJet progress with jet engine running on hydrogen

25th Sep 2023 13:03

(Alliance News) - Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC and airline partner easyJet PLC on Monday said their effort to build an aero engine that runs on green hydrogen achieved a milestone.

The two companies are aiming to have narrow-body passenger aircraft powered by a hydrogen combustion engine by the mid-2030s.

They are working with Loughborough University in the UK and the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt in Cologne.

Tests on a Pearl 700 engine in Germany running on 100% hydrogen showed the fuel can be combusted at conditions that represent maximum take-off thrust, Rolls-Royce said.

This is thanks to new fuel spray nozzles that control the combustion process of the hydrogen, which burns hotter and more rapidly than the kerosene currently used in jet engines.

"These recent tests mean the combustion element of the hydrogen programme is now well understood, while work continues on systems to deliver the fuel to the engine and integrate those systems with an engine," Rolls-Royce explained.

"We believe hydrogen is the future of short-haul aviation and the success of this test and progress being made demonstrates that this is becoming ever closer," commented easyJet Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren.

Rolls Royce shares were down 0.6% at 219.30 pence in London on Monday afternoon. easyJet was down 1.6% at 427.50p.

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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