Airbus and CFM International will pioneer hydrogen combustion technology; A380 flight test platform for the ZEROe demonstrator

Toulouse/Washington – Airbus has signed a partnership agreement with CFM Internationala 50/50 joint venture between GE and Safran Aircraft Enginesto collaborate on a hydrogen demonstration program that will take off around the middle of this decade.

The objective of the program is to test on the ground and in flight a hydrogen-powered direct combustion engine, with a view to the entry into service of a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. The demonstration will use a bench of test flying A380 equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany. Airbus will also define hydrogen propulsion system requirements, oversee flight testing and provide the A380 platform to test the hydrogen combustion engine in the cruise phase.

CFM International (CFM) will modify the combustion chamber, fuel system and control system of a GE Passport turbojet engine to run on hydrogen. The engine, which is assembled in the United States, was selected for this program due to its physical size, advanced turbo machinery and fuel flow capability. It will be mounted along the aft fuselage of the flying testbed to allow engine emissions, including contrails, to be monitored separately from those of the engines powering the aircraft. CFM will perform an extensive ground test program prior to the A380 flight tests.

“This is the most important step taken by Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen flight since the unveiling of our ZEROe concepts in September 2020,’ noted Sabine Klauke, technical director of Airbus. “By leveraging the expertise of US and European engine manufacturers to advance hydrogen combustion technology, this international partnership sends a clear message that our industry is committed to making zero-emission flight a reality.”

“Hydrogen burn capability is one of the core technologies we are developing and maturing under the CFM RISE program,” said Gael Meheust, Chairman and CEO of CFM. “By bringing together the collective capabilities and experience of CFM, our parent companies and Airbus, we truly have the dream team in place to successfully demonstrate a hydrogen propulsion system.”

CFM shares Airbus’ ambition to keep the promise it made by signing the Air Transport Action Group goal in October 2021 achieve the aviation industry’s zero carbon emissions goal by 2050 by developing and testing the technology needed to make zero-emission aircraft a reality within the ambitious timelines set.

Airbus has a long-standing relationship with CFM and its parent companies, GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines and together the partners have established an excellent track record of delivering high performance products that meet the needs of airline customers.

Dedicated B-rolls and assets are available for professional broadcasters: here.

@Airbus @CFM_engines @GEAviation @SAFRAN #A380 #Sustainable Development #ZEROe

your contact

Matthew Duvelleroy

External Communications -Airbus

Telephone: +33 6 29 43 15 64

[email protected]

Lois Benquet

External Communications – Airbus commercial aircraft

Telephone: +33 6 42 88 10 65

[email protected]

Heiko Stolzke

External Communications – Airbus commercial aircraft

Telephone: +49 151 4615 0714

[email protected]

Ambra Canale

External Communications -Airbus

Telephone: +34 695 99 26 79

[email protected]

Kevin A. Perras