Picture: Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce has partnered with EasyJet to power an aircraft engine on hydrogen fuel in afirst for the aviation industry. 

The trial took place at the Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe down site in Amesbury, Wiltshire, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft. The two companies have said that the ground test was a “major step” towards proving that hydrogen could be a zero-carbon aviation fuel.  

The partnership between EasyJet and Rolls-Royce was formed in July with the aim of demonstrating that hydrogen could be used in a range of aircraft from the mid-2030’s onwards. 

Both companies have pledged to reach net zero for carbon emissions by 2050. 

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren described the test as “a real success for our partnership team”. 

He continued to say: “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.” 

The joint venture still plans further work before setting off on a ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engine, which is a model used to power business jets. 

Rolls-Royce chief technology officer 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.”