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Rolls-Royce and EasyJet complete first test of hydrogen-powered aeroengine

Rolls-Royce and the airline EasyJet reported Monday that they have established a new milestone in aviation, by conducting the first test of a hydrogen-powered aero engine. The testing was carried out on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by wind and tidal energy. This is an important step in demonstrating that hydrogen could be the zero-carbon aviation fuel of the future and is a key point in both Rolls-Royce's and easyJet's decarbonisation strategies. Testing was conducted at an outdoor facility at MoD Boscombe Down, UK, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine. The green hydrogen for the tests was supplied by the EMEC (European Marine Energy Center), generated from renewable energy at its facilities in Eday, in the Orkney Islands (United Kingdom). “The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone. We only just announced our partnership with easyJet in July and we're already off to an incredible start with this historic achievement. We are pushing the boundaries to discover the zero-carbon possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight,” said Grazia Vittadini, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer. “This is a real success for our team of partners. We are committed to continuing to support this pioneering research because hydrogen holds great promise for a number of aircraft, including those the size of easyJet. This will be a big step forward in meeting the challenge of neutrality by 2050,” said Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO. Following analysis of this first ground-based proof-of-concept, the association plans to conduct a series of additional tests leading to a full-scale ground-based testing of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine. The partnership is inspired by the UN-backed global "Race to Zero" campaign, which both companies have signed up to, pledging to reach net-carbon emissions by 2050.

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