Safran: CFM and Airbus pioneers in hydrogen combustion technology

Press release

CFM and Airbus launch hydrogen combustion technology

Washington, DC – February 22, 2022 – CFM International (CFM), the 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, and Airbus have signed an agreement to 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.

CFM will modify the combustion chamber, fuel system and control system of a GE PassportMT hydrogen-powered turbojet engine. The engine, which is assembled in the United States, was selected because of 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.

The demonstration will use an A380 flying test bed fitted with liquid hydrogen tanks prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany. Airbus will define the hydrogen propulsion system requirements, oversee the flight tests and provide the A380 platform to test the hydrogen combustion engine in the cruise phase.

“Hydrogen burn capability is one of the core technologies we are developing and maturing under the CFM RISE program,” said Gaël Méheust, CFM’s President and CEO. “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.”

“This is the most significant step taken by Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen flight since the unveiling of our ZEROe concepts in September 2020,” said Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer. “By drawing on the expertise of American and European engine manufacturers to advance the combustion of hydrogen

CFM, CFM56, LEAP and the CFM logo are trademarks of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE

Kevin A. Perras