EasyJet and Rolls-Royce to pioneer hydrogen engine combustion technology under H2ZERO partnership

easyJet and Rolls-Royce have announced a groundbreaking new partnership, H2ZERO, which will pave the way for the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology capable of powering a range of aircraft, including those in the narrow-body market segment.

The two companies are committed to working together on a series of ground engine tests, starting later this year, and share the ambition to get the technology off the ground. The objective of this partnership is to demonstrate that hydrogen has the potential to power a range of aircraft from the mid-2030s.

While Rolls-Royce will contribute its expertise in engine development and combustion systems, easyJet will contribute its operational knowledge and experience to H2ZERO and will also invest directly in the test programme.

Through H2ZERO, the companies will support a first concept ground test of a Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engine in the UK Later this year. This will be followed by a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engines – a range of location options are being evaluated for this, including the Rolls-Royce test facility at Mississippi, United States. The program will build on the initial hydrogen combustion and fuel system trials that Rolls-Royce is undertaking with Cranfield and Loughborough the universities.

H2ZERO is inspired by the UN-backed global Race to Zero campaign, which both companies have signed up to, committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The agreement announced today follows a research project that the two companies launched in 2021, developing market analysis, developing specifications, studying infrastructure and regulatory requirements to support the use of hydrogen in aviation.

John LundgrenCEO of easyJet, said: “In order to achieve net zero by 2050, we have always said that radical action is needed to address the climate impact of aviation. This is why today we are so pleased to announce this partnership with Rolls-Royce.The technology emerging from this program has the potential to power planes the size of easyJet, which is why we will also be investing several million books in this program. In order to achieve large-scale decarbonisation, progress in the development of zero-emissions technology for narrow-body aircraft is crucial. Together with Rolls-Royce, we look forward to leading the industry to meet this challenge head-on.

Grazia Vittadini, Director of Technology and Strategy at Rolls-Royce, said: “H2ZERO is a big step forward for Rolls-Royce and we are delighted to be working with a partner who shares a desire to innovate and find new answers to aviation’s greatest challenges. . At Rolls-Royce, we want to be ready to pioneer sustainability with whatever the future demands, whether it’s hydrogen, electric power, sustainable aviation fuel or efficiency. gas turbines. This agreement gives us more incentive to move forward.

The H2ZERO partnership was also created in response to detailed research and market research – including the British Institute of Aerospace Technology The Fly Zero team and the NAPKIN (New Aviation Propulsion Knowledge and Innovation Network) project – both of which have concluded that there is market potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

1. Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We are committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030 (excluding product testing) and have joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign in 2020, affirming our ambition to play a fundamental role to enable the sectors in which we operate to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

2. Rolls-Royce has customers in over 150 countries, including over 400 airline and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies and over 5,000 energy and nuclear customers.

3. The underlying annual revenue has been £10.95 billion in 2021, current operating income was £414 million and we invested £1.18 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology Centers, which put Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.

4. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a listed company (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69)

About easyjet

easyJet is Europe leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe major airports, with great fares and friendly service.

The airline takes sustainability seriously and, joining Race to Zero last year, committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also recently announced its interim carbon emissions reduction target. carbon based on science, a 35% improvement in carbon emissions intensity by FY2035. on a FY2020 basis. Ultimately, easyJet wants to achieve zero-carbon flight and is working with industry partners including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Electric Wrighton several dedicated projects to accelerate the development of this technology.

In the meantime, the airline offsets the carbon emissions of the fuel used for all its flights, at no additional cost to its customers, and only supports projects certified by Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard, internationally recognized certification systems. In addition, easyJet continues to renew its fleet, operates efficiently and aims to fill most of its seats. Since 2000, over a 20-year period, the airline has reduced its carbon emissions per passenger per kilometer by a third, and aims to reduce them further.

Beyond carbon, easyJet is focused on reducing plastic – over 36 million single-use plastic items have been eliminated – as well as reducing waste within its wider operations and supply chain. ‘supply. The airline also introduced new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. With 45 bottles in each uniform, this has the potential to prevent 2.7 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills or the oceans over the next five years.

easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people under local contract in eight countries across Europe in full respect of national legislation and recognizing their trade unions. The airline supports several local charities and has a corporate partnership with UNICEF who raised more £14 million for the most vulnerable children since its creation in 2012.


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Kevin A. Perras