Rolls Royce and easyJet look to the future with hydrogen engine tests

Last week, globally-reknowned engine manufacturer Rolls Royce set an industry first with the successful testing of a modern aero-engine powered by hydrogen alongside its partner easyJet.

The companies set this world first using so-called “green hydrogen”, created through natural processes, and this first test is the result of a partnership signed in July 2022 – just five months ago. Both firms have embarked on this enterprise in order to prove the viability of hydrogen as a safe, and sustainable, fuel for commercial aviation, with a long-term goal of further tests of this  AE 2100-A regional airliner engine prior to a full-scale rig test of a Pearl 15 engine and, eventually, flight tests.

The chief technology officer at Rolls-Royce, Grazia Vittadini, said: “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. We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight,” with easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren adding that: “This is a real success for our partnership team. We are committed to continuing to support this ground-breaking 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.”

All tests are scheduled to take place at MoD Boscombe Down’s outdoor test facility in Wiltshire.