Airbus aims to equip an A380 airliner with a hydrogen engine by 2035

“This is the most significant step undertaken at Airbus to usher in a new era of hydrogen-powered flight since the unveiling of our ZEROe concepts back in September 2020,”


Airbus’ Double Decker A380 has plenty of space for hydrogen fuel tanks. European aviation giant aims to test hydrogen engine on modified A380 by 2035, as it strives to lower its emissions amid global efforts to curb fossil fuel consumption, a press statement reveals.

Hydrogen combustion capability

“Hydrogen combustion efficiency is one of the basic technologies we have developed and matured as part of the CFM RISE project.” “The GE Passport will modify the turbofan’s fuel, fuel system, and control system to run on CFM International hydrogen,” Airbus said in a statement.

The project aims to ground and fly a direct combustion engine burned by hydrogen fuel, in preparation for entering the service of a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. The demonstration will use an A380 flying testbed equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks made by Airbus. Facilities in France and Germany. Airbus will provide the A380 platform for defining hydrogen propulsion system requirements, overseeing air testing, and testing the hydrogen combustion engine during the flight phase.

In 2019, Airbus announced that it would cancel production of the A380, the world’s largest aircraft, due to higher production costs and lower order recession. Numerous aircraft are still in operation, however, the company could still modify them to test future technologies. Airbus says its size is set for future tests.

Airbus explains that test flights for the hydrogen-powered A380 will begin in 2035. The aircraft will be refitted with an engine that has been modified to be capable of withstanding the high temperatures required to burn hydrogen fuel. The company also explained that it had selected its A380 model for the tests because the aircraft was capable of carrying additional equipment such as hydrogen fuel tanks needed to carry out the tests.

Reducing carbon emissions from the aviation sector
Aircraft manufacturers are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, which accounts for more than 2 percent of all man-made emissions. While some companies claim that hydrogen is the next big thing to sustainable transportation, not all companies agree. In the automotive industry, for example, BMW is testing hydrogen fuel, while Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, called the concept of hydrogen cars “stunningly dumb.”

In the aviation industry, the outlook is slightly different as battery-electric propulsion systems struggle to deliver the power needed to lift off. Airbus has already unveiled three zero-emission aircraft concepts, which it expects to enter service by 2035. Other companies, such as the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute, are developing their own hydrogen aviation concepts that can offer greater range than electric propulsion. Equivalent and reduced track on drop-in fuel. If Airbus’ tests go as planned, it will give the aviation industry the impetus it needs to mass-translate existing aircraft. This is an attempt to drastically reduce the impact of aircraft on our environment.

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